President Muhammadu Buhari said on Tuesday that education must be given priority nationwide as the surest way to successfully build the country.
The President also stated that going to school should not be the right of only those who could pay the highest fees.
He spoke in Abuja when a delegation from the Arewa House Centre for Historical Documentation and Research visited him at the Presidential Villa.
The group was led by the Director, Arewa House, Prof. Idris Shaaba-Jimada.
The President was reacting to a request made by the centre to start the “Buhari Integrity Lecture Series.”
He said, “We will have a better society when education is not only for those who can afford to pay expensive fees in schools.’’
Buhari also noted that teachers must be paid their dues and adequately catered for through constant training to be in a position to teach children in schools.
He added, “If it has to do with integrity, we must go back to history and try to assess the contribution of teachers to education, where teachers treated every child as their own in instilling discipline and sharing of knowledge.
“I was lucky to be in a boarding school for nine years, three years in primary school and six years in secondary school before I joined the military. And if we are talking of good education, it has to start with the teaching in schools, where children grow in a learning environment.”
He called for a national approach to tackling the challenges facing in the education sector as against reducing the decay in the sector to a northern Nigeria problem.
“We must make education and health a priority relative to the resources available…Your nomenclature is Arewa, but the problem of education is a national issue,” Buhari told the visitors.
Shaaba-Jimada earlier explained why the group thought of the lecture series, saying that it was to promote the virtues of integrity in the education sector.
“Integrity should be taught in our schools as part of civic education, and we are proposing that it starts with you,” a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, quoted the President to have said.
Meanwhile, Buhari has congratulated Nigerian writer, Lesley Nneka-Arimah, who won the 2019 Caine Prize for African Writing. Nneka-Arimah’s work, “Skinned,” had won the award.
“The President believes Arimah’s award, with a book focused on empowering women, creates another platform for discussions and actions on a topical issue of development that every government must take seriously.
“President Buhari rejoices with the family and friends of the prolific writer, affirming that her brilliance has brought pride and glory to the country, and the continent,” the Presidency stated on Tuesday.
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