Education under serious threat in Nigeria – Dons
Barely 48 hours after the weekend abduction of about 200 students of an Islamiyya school, within Tegina in Rafi local government area of Niger state, some patriotic educationists have expressed concern over the effect of terrorist attacks on the learning process and called for a state of emergency on education.
While declaring that something urgent should be done to check the frequent armed raids on schools and the abduction of students, the university lecturers said the menace must stop because the aim of such terrorist attacks was to completely cripple education nationwide.
The educationists, Professor Benedict Umaru, Dean, Faculty of Education, University of Abuja and Professor Julius Abiola Ademokoya, national chairman, Committee of Deans of Education in Nigerian Universities spoke on the threat facing education in separate exclusive interviews with Orient Daily in Abuja.
Professor Benedict Umaru, who spoke first, said the latest abduction of students by heavily armed bandits last Sunday evening was a direct attack on education at its foundation and he wondered how 200 children were taken away without any interruption or resistance from security personnel or villagers.
Umaru said insecurity and neglect by government are some of the factors that led to the falling standard of education in the country and he called on the federal government to rise up to the challenge without further delay.
“With the outburst of population in the country, education has become something that has attracted popular demand but the governments have not been responsive in meeting the demands of the education sector.
“We are worried now that all boarding schools in the north have become empty and the students converted to day pupils. The government must redouble its efforts in securing the safety of lives and properties of the people. Education is dying in the north and other parts of the country.
“Many parents have even withdrawn their children from schools because they are afraid that their children will be kidnapped without any action from government.”
On his part, Professor Julius Ademokoya suggested that boarding schools should not only be fenced but should be provided with armed security personnel to protect the students especially at night.
The educationist said abducted students will become disoriented, frightened and find it difficult to concentrate in class after their release from kidnappers’ dens due to the harrowing experience that victims go through in the hands of their abductors.
He called for prompt intervention of security agencies whenever an abduction occurs in schools stressing that the kidnappers get away with their crime due to the long response time and the willingness of parents to pay ransom to the bandits.