Girls’ advocates have decried the high level of illiteracy among younger Nigerians due to the lack of education, especially at the basic levels.
They disclosed this on Thursday at the opening of the 20th Outreach of the August Girls’ Assembly (AGA), one of the largest gatherings of girls in Ibadan, Oyo State, organised by Worth-in-Womanhood arm of Vine Branch Church Ministry.
The convener of AGA, Pastor Bridget Kolade, urged the government to legislate compulsory education for every Nigerian from primary level to JSS 1 to address the growing concern.
According to her, there are no alternatives to education for both boys and girls.
“Education is what we owe the Nigerian child. It is a robbery of destiny to deny a child education.
“The government knowing what education was, should make laws that would enforce education at least, basic education from primary to JSS 1, should be a must and should be legislated.
“I believe that is where we should start because we are just breeding problems for tomorrow if we take our eyes off education,” Kolade said.
She said whatever it will cost the nation to pay as the price to get our children educated we must pay.
“Parents, governments and everyone’s hand must be on deck to ensure that every Nigerian child is educated, that is their right to get education; they are the ones who will build the infrastructures, and make the flyover bridges.
“Government investment should be targeted at education and Governors should not compete over the number of flyover bridges were in one state or another, yet there is abject poverty and illiteracy.
“To the shame of all Nigerians, this generation has a high level of illiteracy among our children, it is a shame and so we must do something about it.
“Every stakeholder must do what should be done now and the earlier we get it right the better. The Bible says righteousness exalts a nation but sin is a reproach to any people; that word righteousness means doing things right which exalts a nation,” Kolade said.
She called for end to all forms of corruption and selfishness, saying “all the money stolen over the years what has come out of it. Let us make a change everywhere we are.
“I am the change Nigeria needs and you are the change Nigeria needs. We must do things right so that our children will have a brighter tomorrow and Nigeria will be better. When a child is educated they will build this country,” Kolade said.
In her keynote address, Mrs Gbonjubola Owolabi, Provost, Oyo State College of Nursing and Midwifery, Eleyele, Ibadan, charged participants to be focus and never be discouraged in life.
“Life is a journey and we don’t know what is in it for us but we have a God who cares for us and we are not going to be discouraged but we will keep at it. Read your Bible stand on God’s word and pray until something happen,” she said.
Owolabi stated that the world is changing and children nowadays are faced with challenges associated with technology and social media.
“We have to continue to mentor them and encourage them in the way of the Lord because of moral decadence.
“All hands must be on deck and all stakeholders must get serious to ensure that the younger generation finds their feet to surmount the challenges of their days and build a bright future,” the provost said.