President Muhammadu Buhari has said the only asset he is bequeathing to his children is quality education.
The president, who made the statement at his hometown in Daura, Katsina State, during the Eid-el-Kabir celebration, said his focus had always been on ensuring his children, especially his daughters, were properly educated.
‘They already know that I am not leaving anything for anyone to inherit. My greatest legacy to the children is to ensure they are properly educated’, the president said.
‘My focus has always been on training the children to be relevant wherever they find themselves. I told my children, particularly the girls, that they can only get married after getting a first degree’.
Although the president has provided his children with quality education, millions of indigent children in the country, especially girls, are being denied this basic human right.
About 18.5 million children, the majority of whom are girls, do not have access to education in Nigeria, a figure up sharply compared with 2021, according to the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF).
That makes Nigeria the country with the highest number of out-of-school children in the world.
The Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) had also raised the alarm over the fact that 50 percent of schools in Nigeria lack basic furniture and other critical infrastructure for improved learning outcomes.
In spite of these concerns, Nigeria is yet to prioritise addressing the gaps in providing basic education for several millions of children as stipulated by the Goal-4 Target-1 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), to which the country is a signatory.
Annual monetary allocations to the sector have been less than the 15 percent minimum recommended by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). With basic education in Nigeria lacking the necessary funding and governmental support, it is no surprise that tertiary education in the country is also suffering from the same fate.
Public university lecturers in Nigeria have been on strike for five months with no end in sight. Many public universities in the country have poorly equipped laboratories, dilapidated lecture halls and hostels.
The president’s greatest legacy to his children was to ensure they were ‘properly educated’. However, millions of indigent Nigerian children, especially girls, are missing out on basic education because federal and state governments are failing in Nigeria’s commitment to 12 years of free, compulsory, qualitative and safe education.
President Buhari should also bequeath the same ‘education legacy’ to the millions of children of average Nigerians and the underprivileged who do not have the financial prowess to send their children abroad.
Photo source: Muhammadu Buhari