The Federal Government on Friday announced the postponement of school resumption from holidays till February 4, 2011. The postponement affects all nursery, primary and secondary schools in the country. Government rationalized the postponement by stressing the need for a successful registration exercise for the coming April elections.
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) finds this decision parochial, myopic and pernicious. We have no doubt that stakeholders were not carried along before this decision was made. The country’s education system has suffered so many setbacks and this is one delay too many. The woeful performance of students in the final examinations results in recent times is enough to dissuade the Federal Government from taking this type of decision.
If the targets are the school teachers who are to act as registration officials, government should have looked for alternatives. There is an army of unemployed graduates in every Nigerian city. These job seekers would have been too willing to partake in the registration exercise.
It is grossly irresponsible to play games with the future of our young and innocent children. This decision smacks of insensitivity, arrogance and callousness. It does not make sense at all. It is, at best, pennywise, pound foolish. If we delay the resumption of our school children for one month just because of the coming voters’ registration exercise, what should we expect during the elections proper? Wouldn’t the schools close for six months? By the way, is the whole country in a state of emergency?
Government is treating the issue of education with levity and this is very sad. By taking this unwise decision, our leaders have confirmed their priority, namely, to win the next election. They have never been interested in the education of the youth. This is the tragedy of Nigeria. MURIC denounces this lackadaisical attitude to education, the indubitable bedrock of progress.
MURIC calls on the Federal Government to quickly reverse its decision and allow school children to learn and build their own future. Let the current generation of politicians carry their own cross. Leave the children alone. We charge the Parents’ Teachers Association, labour unions, the rest of civil society and all men of goodwill to wade into this matter before the future of our children is mortgaged for a pot of porridge.
Dr. Is-haq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)