• Friday, July 12, 2024
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BusinessDay

Experts say 11,536 schools shutdown threatens Nigeria’s future

Experts in the educational sector say the insecurity-induced shutdown of 11,536 schools in the northern region poses a threat to the future of Africa’s most populous country.

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) latest report indicated that insecurity has forced 11,536 schools to shut down operations.

Reacting to the report, the education experts who spoke with BusinessDay, urged the Federal Government to tackle the insecurity issues in the country in order to rescue the affected region.

They expressed concern that the government was seemingly playing into the playbook of Boko Haram and other security-risk groups, especially in the northern region by not being decisive against their activities.

Busayo Aderounmu, a senior lecturer at the Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State, fears this is going to massively affect human capital development in Nigeria.

“It will reduce equality and access to education making the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) on education unrealistic,” she said.

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Bribena Efriye, the chief executive officer of TAMIEF International Limited, said the government’s inability to handle the security situation in the country poses a colossal loss both in manpower building and economic growth.

“It is colossal; farmers can no longer produce in the northeast, southeast, middle belt, and many other parts of the country. Foreign investors are leaving in their numbers simply because the environment is not conducive for them.

“For me, if the government cannot fix the security challenges of Nigeria, they should resign,” he said.

Similarly, Oluyinka Bolarinwa, a social affairs analyst expressed his worries that children from the affected regions would easily join the bandits, thereby escalating the insecurity situation and the economic circle will not fare better.

“It is a web circle; the incessant security war is slowing down the economic growth, which in turn is rubbing on the social affairs of the citizenry.

“We need to reform our security system in order to be able to curb the menace, otherwise, I’m afraid, the situation is worrisome,” Bolarinwa said.

Elliot Ibeh, an educationist said the situation is very worrisome because if it is not checkmated it might lead to an unprecedented knowledge gap between children from those affected areas and their colleagues from other parts of the country.

“This will definitely lead to a knowledge and development gap between the north pole and the south pole of Nigeria. And this in essence undermines what relief packages the federal government is giving to these people to cushion the effects,” Ibeh noted.

Besides, he reiterated the need for a total revamping of all sectors of governance in the country to bring about what he called ‘transformative leadership’.

“We need leaders who are people-centric and rulers who are out there to exploit the followers. If you ask me, he said, I will say, our leaders are not proactive and have no vision for the future generation,” he said.

The UN organ raised the alarm over the future of the country due to consistent attacks on schools and other educational learning facilities, especially in the northeast and the north-central regions of Nigeria.