Sen. Magnus Abe has called for a dynamic education system that will successfully prepare Nigerian children to contribute to national growth.
Abe, who represented Rivers South-East Senatorial District in the eighth senate, made the call on Tuesday in Port Harcourt, while delivering more than 100 pieces of HP Laptop computers to beneficiaries of his Education and Work Enhancement Support Scheme.
Beneficiaries of the scheme were drawn from Doctoral Degree/PhD students of the senatorial zone who performed excellently and select journalists in Rivers.
Abe also expressed worry over what he called alarming statistics on out-of-school children and poor educational facilities in public schools.
He said that such developments constitute defects as well as threat to national growth.
“One of the things that worries me as a citizen of this country is that today in this country, statistically, we are told that the number of out-of-school children in Nigeria is over 18 million.
“This is more than the population of Sweden, Hungary and even the Netherlands. I don’t want to talk about the huge number who are in schools but actually not learning anything useful.
“My personal estimate is that more than 70 per cent public schools are actually nothing more than gathering holes for desperate children and parents who are knowledge-thirsty but are faced with empty schools.
“Yes, I am a product of free education at a time when government paid some needed attention to the seector.
“But today I feel disturbed when government claims to run a free education without the necessary teaching and learning facilities and good remuneration for teachers and staff,” he said.
Abe called for adequate budgeting, planning and implementation of policies that would encourage global competitiveness aimed at driving the sector which is key to development.
Responding on behalf of the PhD student beneficiaries, Mr Gogonte Emmanuel of the departmnt of Chemistry in the Rivers State University expressed appréciation to the senator for the gesture.
“We are truly grateful for your benevolence and concern particularly on education/ human capacity, a sector you have committed huge resources throughout your stay in office.
“Indeed these computers which have already been formated and programmed to aid research would enhance our studies,” he said.
Similarly, Mr Stanley Job, Chairman, Rivers Chapter of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), thanked the senator for supporting media practitioners in the state.
“The media had in many ways benefited from your developmental schemes ranging from scholarships to charities for the state council.
“On behalf of my colleagues and beneficiaries of this laudable scheme, I assure you that these work equipments shall be effectively utilized,” he said.
Journalists who benefited from the work enhancement scheme are Mr Collins Gbarawi of Treasure FM, Port Harcourt, Miss Lizzy Ikuru of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Port Harcourt, Mr Alwell Ene of Wish FM among others.