Enugu – President Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday directed the ministry of education to construct additional schools in the South East to address the challenge of boy-child education in the zone.
The president gave the directive at the inauguration of the Back-To-School campaign in Enugu.
Jonathan directed that such schools should be constructed within one year to address the gap in the boy-child education in the zone.
He said that closing the gap would also improve the potential of individuals and make them effective in a decentralised global economy.
The president, represented by the Minister of Education, Prof. Ruqayyatu Rufai, reiterated the Federal Governments’ effort towards providing adequate infrastructure to improve education of the boy-child in the south east.
He said that the participation of youths in formal education will boost small and medium scale enterprises and enhance economic activities in the country.
“Education will no doubt enhance the success of our youths as small and medium entrepreneurs, especially now that there exists a number of programmes to support these groups or business organisations.
“Participation in the formal education process plays an important part in enhancing the ability of the 21st century business man to succeed. It will help to open up the understanding of the dynamics of not only the local economy but also the global competitive environment.
“It is my expectation that the boys we are sending back to school today will do their best to acquire the requisite skills and be confoundable assets to their respective communities. I therefore direct the construction of schools that will address the issue of access in the south east zone within one year.’’
Also speaking, the Minister of State for Education, Chief Nyesom Wike, lamented that trade was a major challenge to the boy-child education in the south east.
He said access to education was essential to meeting the Millennium Development Goals, adding that local governments, communities and traditional rulers must assist in identifying the challenges of boy-child education in their area.
On his part, Gov. Sullivan Chime of Enugu State, said the back-to-school programme would assist the government to reintroduce boarding houses in schools to reduce loitering by school children during school hours.
“This programme, if well implemented, will take our children back to school, especially our boys.’’
The governor commended President Jonathan for launching the programme in the zone, adding that more youths would be enlightened to move the country to greater heights.
The event was attended by state governors in the zone, stakeholders in the education sector from different states of the country, traditional rulers, students and dance groups.