‘Monarch to bequeath enduring educational legacy in Warri kingdom’
The wife of the Olu of Warri, Ivie Uhunoma Emiko (Olori Atuwatse III) has disclosed plan of the Palace to bequeath an enduring educational legacy in the kingdom, just as she harped on the need for every child to receive a quality education, irrespective of social status.
She stated this at the launch of Human Capital Africa (HCA), an accountability and advocacy initiative spearheaded by Obiageli Ezekwesili, Nigeria’s former Minister of Education and World Bank VP of the African region.
While expressing worry about the decline in quality education in addition to the rising number of out-of-school children, she posited that there is no better way to build the future than by building the children through quality education.
She particularly expressed regret that rather than being a blessing to the people, the rich natural resources of her people have failed to uplift their standard of living.
“Since our ascension, the state of the Warri Kingdom has deeply disturbed my husband and me. The Delta region, where our kingdom is located, suffers from what we call the resource curse.
A situation where our natural resource wealth, such as oil and gas, leads to poor economic outcomes in addition to creating environmental waste,” said Emiko.
According to her, the majority of Niger Delta people are reeling from poverty and a lack of access while a few stakeholders benefit from the lucrative export. She said the high level of poverty in the region has turned its youth towards inexcusable illegal activities. “The poverty level has also contributed to rising numbers of out-of-school children especially in the rural/riverine areas”.
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According to the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), as of 2021, the total number of out-of-school children in Delta State is 146,000. However, the total number for the south-south is put at 1.2 million. Increasingly, our children’s role models are those who find seeming success from less altruistic means of livelihood.
“Ogiame Atuwatse III and I have made it one of our priorities to channel our influence and greater investment to our most important resource—the young people of Warri Kingdom. It is our dream to build a prosperous future for the children of the kingdom, a future where they have opportunities to survive but to thrive,” Emiko said.
While noting that the impact of quality education at a young age opens boundless possibilities, Olori however said that quality education should not be the preserve of the privileged few. “That is why I did like to tell you about my hero. My father, Captain Hosa Okunbo, the third child from a family of 12, came from humble beginnings,” she stated.
According to Olori Atuwatse III, from primary to tertiary education, Okunbo attended public schools across Nigeria.
In Benin, Warri, and Zaria, where he received a rich education that set him on the same career starting line as those from more privileged backgrounds. “In his lifetime, Captain built industries. But, more than that, he built people by providing work that enriched others intellectually and economically,” she said.