I believe every Nigerian child, no matter their ethnicity, religion, family earnings, or location should have access to high quality education, preferably from nursery school onwards. We will provide the opportunity for our young persons to get great education, so Nigeria can one day join the league of the best educated people and workforce in the world.
In support of efforts to educate Nigeria, My administration will set up a Sovereign Education Fund which will invest wisely for the purpose of supporting the education of Nigerians, the training of our educators, and the promotion of the institutions of learning in Nigeria. The fund will award scholarships to highly talented but indigent students, support research, and promote quality training of students in Nigerian schools.
The Fund will also be responsible for providing waivers to indigent parents of pupils in Secondary schools to enable them study at the time they should, and to prevent that parents use lack of funds as excuse to avoid their responsibilities to ensure their children are properly educated.
We will set up a strict enforcement agency which will ensure parents who persistently avoid their duties to ensure their children attend school, are properly punished in accordance with extant laws.
I aim to provide high-quality, nursery school programs to help our kids get a strong start for their education. I believe that making early childhood education is a priority, because research has shown how much early learning can impact life-long success. We will invest in early childhood programs and provide indigent and low-income families with financial support in form of tax cuts to enable them access the high-quality childcare, and preschool programs designed for their communities.
We will support organisations which provide quality childcare in terms of training for their workers, to ensure that early childhood educators are of high quality.
We will support compulsory and free primary education for every Nigerian of primary school age. Free healthy school meals will also be provided for each child in every primary education facility in Nigeria – be they private or publicly run.
To fund the free school meal initiative, we proposes to launch a Free-Meal-For-Our-Children campaign which will be a charity which gathers funds from individuals and organisations, strictly for the purpose of providing free warm meals for every child in every primary school in Nigeria.
I propose compulsory quality secondary education for every Nigerian who has completed primary education. Children from indigent families will be exempt from paying school fees for their secondary education, however children of parents who have an identifiable source of livelihood will be required to pay subsidised school fees.
Healthy meals will be provided at each Secondary School for the pupils, however the meals will only be subsidised. They will not be completely free of charge.
A University degree or other forms of post-secondary education is required for most jobs that pay very well in Nigeria and in most parts of the world. Incessant ASUU strikes have however stagnated the rate of graduation, and the quality of education our young minds are getting is at its lowest.
We support paying to get tertiary education, however every young Nigerian who wants tertiary education, should be able to get one. This means money should never stand in the way of getting good quality tertiary education, a degree or equivalent credentials.
As a result, I propose a scheme where low to no-interest loans will be made available to aspiring University students in the age bracket of 16 and 30 years. Younger and older applicants may be considered under outlined circumstances which will be for the education schemes to set.
I believe that our current and projected economic circle calls for the privatisation of most of our Universities in Nigeria. The State and Federal governments may retain ownership of some of these institutions, but most of them should go to private hands.
In the short term, privatisation will allow funds and investments to flow into our tertiary institutions, remove strike actions which hamper progress, make it the responsibility of the owners of the schools to provide good quality education at reasonable costs to the students, thereby reducing government involvement in the financing and equipping of tertiary institutions to a minimum.
In the long run, both government and private Universities which are doing excellently well set very high standards that all others will aspire to beat. Whether students are at private or public Universities, fees will be commensurate to the programs of study, so there will not be arbitrary increment in school fees – whether at private or public institutions.
I recognise that all of us are not equally endowed, however lack of interest or ability in terms of tertiary education should not equal to lack of opportunities. We will therefore make access to vocational schools and colleges possible for students who wish to learn a trade rather than go to tertiary institutions.
Schools for Special Needs People
This category of people is the most neglected in Nigeria. I recognise that our children, parents, and siblings who are blind, lame, deaf, dumb, autistic – whatever may be their disability, are exactly as worthy of attention as the rest of us who do not suffer any disability.
I therefore proposes a scheme where special needs schools will be built to suit the different age groups and different needs of our disabled community. We will also design schemes that will take physical disabilities into account in designing homes for this group of Nigerians.
I am going to be build a government for all. We will not close our eyes to our special needs community.