Omoyele Sowore, presidential candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC), has revealed his plans for the education sector.
Sowore, who is also the Publisher of SaharaReporters, premised his plans for the education sector on the following: Free, compulsory and qualitative education; payment of cost of study allowance; abolishment of fees and exorbitant charges; establishment of community colleges and creation of vocational/technical colleges.
According to a statement by the SoworeOnCampus Special Intervention Unit, there is need to invest in the sector, as the current system "isn’t only designed to produce mass of unemployable graduates, it is also structured to keep and send millions of children with poor background out of school".
The statement read: "Right from the military regime and down to the draconic civilian dictatorship which was albeit misnamed democracy, we have always been victims of government policies targeted at creating an army of extremely poor and uneducated population. It is no wonder Nigeria is at present the poverty capital of the world despite its enormous human and natural resources. Without regard for the slightest economic caution, all the economic facets and sectors haven’t only fallen prey to indignation and deprivations, but they have also been consciously designed and rigged against the poor.
"One of the major economic gang-up against the poor people is the several and wicked attempt by government at all levels to price education out of the reach of the poor through education underfunding, unaffordable fees, arbitrary fee increments as well as animalistic living and learning conditions. The Nigerian education system as of today isn’t only designed to produce mass of unemployable graduates, it is also structured to keep and send millions of children with poor background out of school.
"Creating an investment based education system was and had never been in the plan of the Nigerian ruling class. They have consciously failed to see and acknowledge the unbreakable link between functional education system and national prosperity. Our party, the African Action Congress (AAC), believes that a government that fails to thoroughly invest in the education of its young people should definitely prepare itself for unsustainable economy, increased crime rate and terrorism. A government that fails to build schools would definitely build prisons. It will continue to invest in feeding prisoners since it has failed to invest in the education of young people."
The statement highlighted the plans of the party to improve education as follows:
Free, Compulsory and Qualitative Education: While Atiku through his ‘spokesperson’ Ben Bruce has communicated their plan to privatize our tertiary institution — a move that would bring school fees to a minimum of 600 thousand naira — meanwhile, the Buhari’s administration through his ‘spokesman’ on education, Dr Wale Babalakin, has made public their intention to increase school fees to the tune of 350 thousand for non science courses and 500 thousand for science related courses. Contrary to the madness of the PDP and APC, our party, the African Action Congress (AAC) and its Presidential Candidate, Omoyele Sowore, would ensure education is free from primary down to the tertiary level. Admission racketeering, nepotism and favoritism would be completely eliminated from our tertiary institutions. We would also immediately employ 200,000 teachers to increase the capacity of personnel in primary and secondary education.
Payment of Cost of Study Allowance: Omoyele Sowore and the African Action Congress would pay N100,000 per session to students of tertiary institutions as study allowance. This will ensure our students do not study under empty stomachs and are also able to meet up with basic financial and academic needs.
Abolishment of Fees and Exorbitant Charges: When elected as President, our administration would not only reverse all fee increment policies, we would completely abolish all fees.
Establishment of Community Colleges: Aside the fact that our administration would pump enormous resources into funding existing tertiary institutions, we would establish a community college in each local government of the federation. This would ensure that learning and academic curriculum are drawn within the confines of the economic requirements of each community and local government. For example, students in a fishing/leather-making community should learn with a ‘fishing/leather-making curricula’. Just as we have it in the US, policies like these would industrialize our local communities on a large scale; give bigger economic roles to communities and local government. This itself would constitute a major leap to national prosperity such as which has never been seen even in the history of Africa.
Creation of Vocational/Technical Colleges: For us in the African Action Congress (AAC), we do not find commissioning of projects like roads, bridges, railway, etc., worthy of celebration until we ‘commission’ a generation of engineers and technicians (plumbers, welders, miners etc) who can build our infrastructures. We would invest massively into the technical education of the citizens.
"We then seize this medium to call on all well-meaning Nigerians to join in the struggle to revitalise education to the highest level for national prosperity,2 the statement added with a call on Nigerians to cast their votes for Sowore.
For those interested in enquiries and volunteering for the SoworeOnCampus Special Intervention Unit, contact details are: 08065693312,08169053108.