The Vice President of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, has revealed that
`Every Child Counts’ is the name of the new Federal Government’s education policy.
In a statement made by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Office of the Vice President, Laolu Akande on Wednesday in Abuja, he stated that Osinbajo disclosed the new policy while speaking at the 60th Anniversary of Grange School, Lagos, on Tuesday.
Nigeria according to the vice president, is Africa’s most populous country; and as is the case with other African countries, it is a nation of young people as the majority of its population is below the age of 20.
He stated that Nigeria would emerge the third most populous country in the world by 2050 and would be made up of a significantly large youth population had the potential to be a tremendous blessing for economic growth and prosperity.
Osinbajo, however, did not fail to mention that what could be a blessing also had the potential to be a problem especially if Nigeria fails to plan properly and in advance as extreme poverty further complicated the problem for a country like Nigeria.
He stated that school enrolment needed to increase, and added that the statistics for school enrolment had increased in many cases by over 30 percent in the last 2 ½ years, and attributed it to the school feeding programme.
The Vice President said that Nigeria’s education must equip the youths to be productive in order to eradicate poverty. He went on to say that the Federal Government was working on far-reaching skills-based curriculum on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics. “This is the curriculum for primary and secondary schools. “The core skills the programme will provide include (1) Coding and Computer Programming; (2) Design Thinking and Computer Generated Imaging, Animation and Graphics Design; (3) Robotics, Networking and basic engineering applications.
He was quoted thus “We have a youth inclined program called the N-Power and about 3,000 young people are currently being trained in animation skills and techniques and we found that people take so easily to learn some of these things. “In fact, the younger people are, the easier it is for them to learn all of these technology skills. “So, we think that to develop the kinds of youths who possess the ability to take on the kind of challenges of the 21st century and get the kind of jobs that the 21st century is producing already, would require a change in the way we teach and what we teach.’’
According to him, the Federal Government was collaborating with the Oracle Academy, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), IBM and Microsoft Cisco Academy.
He stated that they are working with the Federal Government in developing the curriculum alongside, the Federal Ministry of Education and the various states.
The Vice President outlined the plan on the ground saying that the immediate plan was to reach, at least 2 million pupils, with this sort of education in the first year.
He also stated that the plan would result in a new classroom structure that permits the cultivation, expression and early adoption of skills that will function favorably in the technology environment that is already being created
He went ahead to state the recipient of the intended plan. It is the Nigerian child and not just the ones in the urban areas or the few that are privileged to afford decent schooling above the weakened standards of public schooling generally.
He said, The real slogan for this new policy is “Every Child Counts” and that also serves as the name of the policy. which means our vision of a qualitative and relevant education has been democratized to reach every Nigerian child.
“Every Child Counts” is set to ensure that all children, especially those currently out of school , and in those areas where more children tend to drop out of school, every one of them deserves to get a decent education and all of them must be reached by this programme,’’ he added.
Osinbajo ended his speech by expressing gratitude and pride in the way that Grange School had collaborated with his office in some of the important work it was doing at the learning centre in Maiduguri.