The Street Kid versus MDG Goal 2

Ever wondered what the world would have been like without education? I have tried to imagine this and actually chose not to because it is unimaginable. Education is very pertinent to human, national and global development.

This is why as I travel along the road, and see children who are suppose to be in the classrooms on the streets selling, my heart aches. I have come to understand that poverty plays a very significant role to the problem these children face. Poverty and not being able to afford fees are the reasons given by parents whose kids are out on the streets.

The introduction of the 9-3-4 system of education
(which includes 9 years compulsory education for children) for children in Nigeria is a laudable move. In the bid to make 9 years free and compulsory, what efforts are being made to ensure that these children enjoy that free education and not find themselves on the streets doing some kind of trading. Are the parents of these kids also being sensitized on the importance of education for their children?

The first stage of education is assumable free however; some parents still find it difficult to send their children to school because of the financial requirements expected of them, despite education being free. A free education should include everything free! (Free books and no levies) however, the case is different as many children pay certain fees and levies at school. I look forward to an education, where it is said to be ‘free’, will be FREE indeed!

Teachers in Nigeria have gone on strike many times in their agitation for better salaries and improved systems. In the real sense, the government of our country need not wait for these people to go on strike before action is taken. These teachers deserve all the motivation they need in order to be committed and for the children to obtain the right education.

I look forward to the day when we will have no more children on the streets during school hours and when the quality of education is made a priority. The success in upgrading the quality of our education and taking the street kids out of the streets must include the support of parents and teachers. If we must achieve a universal primary education for the Nigerian child by 2015, we must take action to making the dream a reality!

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