Akwa Ibom Governor Udom Emmanuel has told children in the state to stay away from such anti-social tendencies as cultism but rather focus on their education and other ennobling pursuits.
In his felicitations to the children on the occasion of 2020 Children’s Day celebrations, Emmanuel said “the future is yours to secure and keep.”
The theme of this year’s celebration is “Promoting Girl Child Education for Sustainable Development.”
A press release by Ekerete Udoh, his Chief Press Secretary, Governor explained “The reason we have invested huge resources in ensuring that our children are made ready for the globalized world of the 21st Century where skills, talents, passion, ability to think outside the box and sharp execution of tasks are the underlying requirements for success.
“That explains why we have not relented in ensuring that our children are kept busy even with the Covid-19 pandemic through our hugely popular “School on Radio” programme on AKBC.
According to him, “We have endeavoured to provide conducive learning environment complete with tools that will enhance, deepen and expand the frontiers of knowledge. We are also maintaining rigorous training of teachers to bring them up to speed with modern approaches to teaching.
He praised Family Empowerment and Youth Re-orientation Path Initiative (FEYReP) of Martha Udom Emmanuel for her untiring interest and passion in the growth and development of the girl child.
“The holistic education of the girl child, from instilling the right values, distilling her sense of self and identity, forswearing unwholesome tendencies that may negate her future and growth, and the infinite faith in her capacity to rise to the faith of her greatness without fear of limitations based on her agenda are important element that we have emphasized,” the governor noted.
Meanwhile, the Federal Government says it is thinking of sectionalising classes for primary, secondary, and tertiary institutions in the country ahead of school re-opening amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba, stated this on Wednesday during a briefing by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 in Abuja.
The minister, who faulted the reports that schools would reopen in the country on June 8, said the government could not afford to take any costly risk, especially as it regards the safety of pupils and students in the country.
He said, “Until we are sure these children can go to school, return safely and not bring up with them COVID-19 and infect people who are more susceptible than they are, then we are running a huge risk and God forbid, in our hurry, something happens to our children, I am not sure how anybody will be able to retrieve what has been lost.”
Nwajiuba said the ministry is being guided by the advice of experts as well as those of the World Health Organisation, noting that the decision to reopen schools in the country would be carefully arrived at because education is on the concurrent list of the Nigerian Constitution.
He appealed to private owners of schools in the country to co-operate with the government in ensuring the safe reopening of schools in the country.
“We are going to publish a specification on what we expect COVID-19 or post-COVID-19 reopening to look like. We are not talking about coping with COVID-19 but in spite of COVID-19, we expect that we will adapt.
“For a country that has over 115,000 primary schools, you will understand that 35,000 of these who are private must agree to set up the same standard in other to allow children to go in.
“We may have classes in the morning and classes in the afternoon so that we will have the whole of the infrastructure divided provided they can serve us. I am not sure we will have classes at night. But we can do with morning and afternoon for now,” he explained.
Nwajiuba said aside ensuring that social distancing is observed when schools reopen, said the ministry is working on sanitation in the schools, noting that the government wants to ensure that all schools could deploy pedal-push handwashing machines.