The National Association of Nigerian Students(NANS) says it has distributed 15, 000 exercise books and writing materials to public primary schools in Gombe State in commemoration of 2017 Children’s Day.
A statement by NANS’s President, Mr Chinonso Obasi on Saturday in Abuja, said that books and other materials were meant to encourage the pupils and the Gombe State government.
Obasi called on governments at all levels to reform public schools which were in sorry state.
“ In line with NANS’ resolve to encourage state governments that are doing well in the area of education and social welfare of young Nigerians, we have distributed over 15, 000 exercise books and writing materials to primary school pupils in Gombe State.
“This gesture by NANS is to challenge the pupils to devote themselves to education as key to a better future and reach out to these future leaders.
“As a nation’s greatness depends on the quality of its citizens, the Federal Government should focus on education as potent weapon in the fight against corruption and other social ills.
“NANS urges the Federal Government to look into the deplorable state of public schools in the country as private schools have become the mainstay of moral and educational development young Nigerians which is not a healthy development.’’
According to Obasi, despite the fact that Nigerians in leadership positions are products of public schools, the public school system has been pushed to the background through neglect and abandonment.
Obasi said that Nigeria public schools could reclaim its past glory if government took interest in provision of critical infrastructure, capacity building for teachers and expansion of facilities to accommodate the growing population.
He regretted that while private schools spread in most states, the number of public schools remained stagnant in spite of increasing population of children in need of access to education.
“ Public schools should not be the dumping grounds for children of the less privileged members of the society, but the mainstay of the nation’s well planned and developed educational policies.
“ This calls for a constant review of curricular to match modern trends, training and retraining of teachers and upgrade of educational facilities,’’ he said.