Monday, 25th September 2023

Bagudu abolishes tuition fees, PTA levies at IDP camps

By Leo Sobechi and Sodiq Omolaoye (Abuja) 
29 October 2022   |   3:56 am
Kebbi State governor, Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, has directed the immediate cessation of payment of tuition fees and Parent Teachers Association (PTA) levies by children of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).
Atiku Bagudu

[FILES] Kebbi State governor Atiku Bagudu

Why Number Of Out-Of-School Children Is On The Rise, By Ladoja

Kebbi State governor, Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, has directed the immediate cessation of payment of tuition fees and Parent Teachers Association (PTA) levies by children of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).

This was as Bukola Ladoja, wife of a former governor of Oyo State, Senator Rashidi Ladoja, has expressed worry over the increasing number of out-of-school in Nigeria.

Bagudu, who encouraged parents and guardians to continue to send their wards and children to school to obtain both western and religious education, expressed dismay at the recent attacks by bandits on 40 towns and villages bordering Sokoto and Zamfara States.

He spoke when he visited IDP camps in Mahuta, the headquarters of the Fakai local council and Isgogo in Zuru Emirate to sympathise with the families of persons killed by the bandits.

The governor, who was accompanied on the trip by General Muhammadu Magoro and Senator Bala Ibn Na’Allah, “expressed deep sympathy and concern on the tragedy,” even as he advised bereaved families to rekindle their faith in Allah as the custodian of mercy and recourse.

While assuring that his administration would reach out to the affected persons appropriately, especially to resettle them in their various towns and villages, the governor directed the appropriate authorities to provide food items, drugs and other essential items to the IDPs.

The Kebbi governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Abubakar Mu’azu Dakingari, said the governor also commended the people of the area for the support and assistance provided to the IDP camp in Mahuta.

Ladoja, who is also the Founder, of the Reading Awareness Society for Development in Africa (RASDA), said despite trillions of naira that had been spent on education at all levels, the number of out-of-school keeps increasing because many children do not comprehend what they are thought in school. 
She raised the concern yesterday at the unveiling of the “One Child, One Book, One-week” school project with the theme ‘Igniting the Reading for National Development’ in Abuja.  

The latest data released by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) in September 2022 put the current number of out-of-school children in Nigeria at 20 million.

While lamenting the increasing poor reading culture among Nigerians, especially youths, Ladoja stressed the need for teachers to be equipped with effective teaching skills for proper mentoring. 

She stated that the menace of out-of-school children would become a thing of the past if students comprehend what they are being taught in school. 

Ladoja said: “The education sector has a multifaceted problem. We have been discussing Nigeria’s education problem for decades, but the only solution is must ensure these children are able to read and comprehend. 

“The government is spending trillions of naira from every stage, both primary, secondary, and even tertiary; what are we bringing out of it? Why is it not working? Can’t we sit down and go to the bottom line? We need to go back to the foundation to understand why things are not working. But from my research, I discovered that the major reason we are having more out-of-school children is that these children can’t comprehend. They cannot understand what they are teaching them. 

“This should be the primary thing that the government should look into by making these children begin to read and comprehend. When you get somewhere and enjoy what you are hearing, you will want to come back for the second hour. 

“So the major problem from my research is comprehension. The way forward is to begin to train the teachers first because the teachers from my research actually don’t know how to deliver.”

Ladoja, an Ambassador of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) further urged children to imbibe reading culture to realise their dreams of becoming future leaders.

She said it would be almost impossible for Nigeria to develop without quality education for the children. 

She added: “We are having social vices today because our children don’t have a vision; they are visionless. There is nothing in their mind. They’re like what I call tabula rasa, an empty state. 

“But I am saying that if the mind is loaded with knowledge, such children won’t think of evil vices. They will be thinking positively. And that’s why we need these books to develop a positive mindset. This project that we are unveiling came to reality because we feel the Nigerian child without a solid mindset cannot take Nigeria to anywhere.”

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