By Editorial Board
THE mandatory free education programme of Governor Nasir El-Rufai’s administration in Kaduna State is a laudable initiative that should be encouraged and even emulated by all other states yet to see the need for such investment.
Without education, a nation has no future. Nigeria especially needs to secure that future by investing heavily in education from primary to tertiary level.
Generally, the Northern part of Nigeria is well-known to be dis-advantaged in education. Successive administrations over the years exhibited a lack of concern, even poor vision by de-emphasising education. Any leader who would transform that part of Nigeria especially must start with education and El-Rufai’s appreciation of this task with his action deserves commendation as well as all the support possible.
In an attempt to promote equity in the polity, such unproductive ideas as “Federal Character” and “quota system,” were introduced into Nigeria’s education system and also enshrined in the constitution. That, notwithstanding, a huge gap still exists between the North and the South and how to close that yawning gap remains a major challenge, which only a leader with vision can tackle.
Against that backdrop, El-Rufai’s initiative should set a pace first for governments in the entire North to emulate, make education a priority and ensure the region lays the foundation for a brighter future. It is, also, an idea that should be bought into by the whole of Nigeria. It is a very expensive but extremely worthy investment to note.
To ensure that no child is left out, El-Rufai also warned that anyone whose school-age child is found hawking or loitering will be arrested together with the child. He said his government has decided to declare an emergency in the education sector and also introduce free feeding and uniforms for students, noting that the sector is his administration’s priority. The governor was emphatic that “no child of school age should be seen on the streets hawking during school hours.”
Interestingly, the Kano State Government had introduced free and compulsory education in 2013 under Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso and incumbent governor, Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, the other day, reaffirmed that the free and compulsory education policy of the Kano State Government remains part of the effort to improve the literacy level in the state. He added that the focus is “to reduce a lot of social menace in the society often caused by the lack of education.” It may be basic but this is a significant step towards development and prosperity for all. Read More →