The rising number of out-of-school children that roam the streets across towns and cities portends a serious danger to the country. Any nation that jokes with educating its younger generation is heading for self-destruction.
The seemingly insurmountable problems confronting the country are somehow linked to the lack of education that results in infrastructural deficit, general insecurity, institutional decay, infectious diseases and low productivity, among others.
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Across the country, young children wander the streets, looking for food or carrying out hard labor. Not only do they lack education, they are also without parental care, guidance, counseling or direction.
Expectedly, that makes them vulnerable to brainwashing and recruitment into crimes and political thuggery. Many Boko Haram insurgents and bandits are young people abandoned by society.
Terrorism is scaring investors away from Nigeria as no investors will be attracted to a lawless society where peace is not guaranteed and the future is uncertain.
Lack of education harms societies; industrialization and medical care will collapse and the environment will deteriorate. Without education and training, the workforce will continue to be weak.
These vulnerable children are of poor family backgrounds and lack basic things such as textbooks, school uniforms, notebooks and other things they need to excel in school. Governments at all levels should ensure that children get free education regardless of family backgrounds. Nigeria needs a holistic approach to prioritizing education.
There should be awareness campaign for parents to understand the importance of educating their children.
Efforts must be intensified to make education not only a priority, but also accessible and affordable with a view to making progress in the country.
Tajuddeen Ahmad Tijjani writes from Galadima Mahmud Street, kasuwar-kaji Azare, Bauchi State.