Atiku laments high poverty rate

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has said that the nation’s education system and policy required urgent review for the nation to “pull through the stranglehold of abject poverty which is holding down a larger chunk of its over 170 million people.”

Atiku stated this yesterday in Abuja when he received, on a courtesy visit, a delegation from NURU International, a U.S.-based social venture that equips the poor living in remote, rural areas to end extreme poverty in their communities.

The organisation is currently engaged in interventionist programmes in the war ravaged communities in Adamawa state.

A statement signed yesterday in Abuja by his media office stated that Atiku told the delegation that a retooled education system that would emphasise functional and problem-solving strategy remained the way to go if the war against poverty was to be won.

He said “with functional education, the high incidence of school drop outs will be reduced while products of secondary education on graduation would have acquired skills that would serve as their source of income for life.”

The Wazirin Adamawa recalled that Nigeria and Nigerians benefitted from such an educational system in the past, but that “things changed after the civil war when the country adopted an education system that mainly took interest in producing candidates for the universities and not for other levels of higher education.”

He said in the past incidence of school dropouts was so low because there were government colleges, secondary schools, technical schools and craft centres which provided spaces for primary school leavers to continue their educational pursuits based on their respective intellectual/mental ability and capabilities.

“I remember that in the 1960s in Northern Nigeria all students sit for one examination and their performance determines where they will be placed for further education. Everyone is accommodated within the four levels of higher education that was available then and this reduced the incidence of school dropout to its barest minimum,” he said.

Speaking earlier, leader of the delegation and founder/CEO of NURU International, Mr. Jake Harriman, said his organisation, which currently operates in Michika and Madagali areas of Adamawa state, “aims at reducing abject poverty in those communities within the seven years the organisation, will operate.”

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