Following the recent launch of a new education policy by the Federal Government, Nigerians have launched an attack on the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration for duplicating a similar programme launched by Senator Bukola Saraki, while he held sway as the Governor of Kwara State.
Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, had in a statement informed that, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo announced the launch of the new policy at the 60th Anniversary of Grange School in Lagos.
According to the Vice President, who said that Nigeria which is expected to become the third most populous country in the world by 2050, has to plan very well in advance as extreme poverty would further complicate the problem for a country like Nigeria.
‘Every Child Counts’ is the name of new Federal Government Education Policy,” Vice President Yemi Osinbajo had said.
Osinbajo pointed out that the core skills the programme would provide include: Coding and Computer Programming; Design Thinking and Computer Generated Imaging, Animation and Graphics Design; Robotics, Networking and basic engineering applications.
“So, we think that to develop the kinds of young people who will be able to take on the kind of challenges of the 21st century and get the kind of work that the 21st century is producing already, we simply have to change the way we teach and what we teach,” he said.
According to him, they are working with the federal government in developing the curriculum alongside, the Federal Ministry of Education and the respective states.
The vice president said that the immediate plan was to reach, with this sort of education, at least 2 million pupils in the first year.
“The plan also envisions a new classroom structure that permits the cultivation, expression and early adoption of skills that will function in the environment that is already being created – the technology environment that is already being created.
“The next question we asked is, for whom do we plan? The answer is quite straightforward – it is the Nigerian child.
“Not just the ones in the urban areas or the few that are privileged to afford decent schooling above the weakened standards of public schooling generally.
“The real slogan for us is “Every Child Counts” and that is the name of the policy, which means we have democratised our vision of a qualitative and relevant education to reach every Nigerian child.
“Every Child Counts” ensures that all children, especially the number reported to be out of school now, and in those areas where children tend to drop out of school much faster, all of them deserve to get a decent education, all of them must be reached by this programme,’’ he stated.
However, the social media went agog following the revelation that the new education policy was a similar one launched in Kwara State, 10 years ago during the administration of Senator Saraki, at a time he was the Executive Governor of the state.
Checks on Wikipedia revealed that the ‘Every Child Counts’ programme was the name given to a series of public school education reforms in Kwara State, in a bid to resuscitate public education in the state.
The state governments had introduced a package of extensive reforms in the education sector, these reforms according to Wikipedia, are also called the education charter for Kwara State and were designed to put the children at the heart of education in the state.
An activist, Oluyemi Fasipe who reacted to the launch of the policy carpeted the Buhari led administration for “copying” what the former Presidential aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) did as a state governor.
“If you want to imitate or steal the concept of a project, you should at least be smart about it. This copy and paste is legendary. It’s okay to say Baba Oloye is 10 years ahead of this government.
“The Every Child Counts programme was a series of educational reforms initiated by Governor Bukola Saraki 10 years ago. Now, 10 years after, this government is stealing Saraki’s ideas. Saraki is ten years ahead of this people, all hail Oloye,” he said.
Similarly, a twitter user with the handle Cross insisted that the programme was part of the series of programs initiated by Saraki to improve the grass-root education in Kwara State by improving teachers’ work ethics, and curtail examination malpractices.
“Fast forward to a little over 10 years later, precisely today, 2nd of November, 2018, the Buhari led administration via the Vice a president, has launched the very same program.
“There’s absolutely nothing wrong in copying a good thing, so far you admit the person you are copying is an achiever, but my worry is…doesn’t this in all affirmation show the APC led government of Muhammadu Buhari had/had no single plan of their own???
“Considering it took them two quarters of the year to appoint executive members, my question might come off as rhetorical though. All they’ve done is crumble the economy, lie to us they’ve defeated the tormenting sect, and defraud us with a nonexistent airline. Enough is enough!” he said.