Nigeria’s educational system and policy required an 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, a former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has said
Atiku said this in Abuja when he received 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 on a courtesy visit. The organization is currently engaged in interventionist programmes in the war ravaged communities in Adamawa State.
The chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress 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 is to be won.
He said that 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 former Vice President 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.
The Waziri Adamawa said that in the past, the 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.
The former Vice President said that the micro-finance scheme promoted by him, has empowered 45,000 families in Adamawa State by providing them with micro-finance facilities with which they started small business apart from investing in education.
He said that the initiative, which targeted women as beneficiaries of the loan scheme, has lifted many families out of poverty.
The leader of the delegation and founder/CEO of NURU International, Mr. Jake Harriman said that his organization, 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.
He said that the essence of the visit was to solicit the support of the former Vice President so that NURU will succeed in its poverty intervention programmme in the state.