COVID-19: Rural school children being left behind

The Human Development Initiatives (HDI), a Non-governmental organisation has called for improved education service delivery in the face of COVID-19 pandemic.

The organisation noted that the shutting down of schools last year following the outbreak of the pandemic in March exposed the inadequacies within Nigeria’s education sector.

Executive Director of HDI, Mrs Olufunso Owasanoye, said this at the 2021 National Education Summit in Abuja.

She said some children from rural areas were left out of the new mode of learning as they were not equipped to adapt or transition to the new methods of learning.

Owasanoye said the organisation was able to distribute 500 hand-held radios, 5,000 facemasks, hand sanitisers to children in hard-to-reach communities to continue their learning.

She said: “Most of their parents could barely survive the lockdown as most businesses were shut down, how much more afford radios and televisions. Some of their parents could barely feed their families during the lockdown.

“Like never before, this is a time of serious concern and demand to improve the delivery of effective quality education at all levels in Nigeria, especially basic education which remains the foundation of life-long learning.

“It is a time for a national discourse and dialogue; a time to strategise and deliberate on the way forward for education in our nation.”

According to her, the summit would provide the opportunity for critical dialogue, to deliberate on the way forward for the sector.

“Education for all is the responsibility of all. Together, with your commitment and involvement we can support government to deliver quality basic education.

“Our collective resolve throughout this program should then be to contribute rich ideas and come up with a working document to further support the delivery of quality, equitable and total education to all Nigerians,” she added.

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