This isn’t a development at all, celebrating “Children’s Day” amidst hunger and starvation.
There is no doubt “children are leaders of today and ambassadors of tomorrow”, but this happens only in the developed world, where there are good provisions and plans for the children in terms of moral upbringing, good education, health facilities, among others.
It’s a dirty slap on Nigeria’s face celebrating Children’s Day amidst hunger and starvation, the kidnaping of students in schools, an unconducive learning environment, poor orphanage centres, children trafficking, rape, child abuse as wells as street begging.
Children deserve special care in Nigeria, not a mere celebration, their situation is very precarious. According to UNICEF, an estimated two million children in Nigeria suffer from severe acute malnutrition (SAM), making Nigeria the second suffering from malnutrition globally.
Our children are dying as a result of poor health facilities, the hospitals lack adequate manpower to handle the children’s problems which is the reason behind the increase in child mortality in the nation.
Talking about an unconducive learning environment, Nigeria’s case is the worst. Our primary and secondary schools are already dilapidated, children study under the shed of trees, this problem also coupled with unqualified teachers, produce unproductive graduates in Nigeria.
In the same vein, access to quality education has been a great challenge for Nigeria which if care is not taken immediately, it will lead to serious damage for the country. Quality education brings about sound changes and zero crimes in the nation.
Also, the fact that children are being kidnapped in schools, there is nothing worthy of celebrating Children’s Day in Nigeria. The number of kidnapped children right from Chibok, Dapchi, Kankara and Kagara is a source of worry. Up to date some of those children didn’t regain freedom.
The number of out of school children is very alarming also; the issue of street begging, child labour, hawking, rape, child molestation, increase day in day out as a result of unstable government policies on children’s affairs. Children need to be given the utmost care for them to achieve their dreams of being tomorrow’s leaders.
If really Nigerian government wants to recognize the value of its children, instead of the huge money spent for the celebration, it should have been better used the money and rebuild the dilapidated schools, provide furniture, deploy qualified teachers as well as sponsored some of them to study abroad.
Maina Fati Dunya,
Department of Mass Communication,
University of Maiduguri