Gowon decries increasing number of Nigerians schooling abroad

Temitope Mustapha, Abuja

One of Nigeria`s Former Head Of State, General Yakubu Gowon , has decried the huge number of Nigerians Schooling Abroad.

The Former Head Of State at the Golden Jubilee Celebration of Federal Government College Warri (FEGOCOWOSA), in Abuja also called on the Federal Government to ensure high quality education in Basic Schools in Nigeria.He blamed the continued increase of education tourism on poor quality of education, adding that government at all levels should replicate the quality of federal government colleges in all secondary schools across the federation.

General Gowon added that the 104 Unity Schools have demonstrated the true attributes of true Nigeria.

“Absolute respect must be given to the founding fathers of the Unity Schools because their government had the idea to make sure that the schools were well started”

“vision of the Unity Schools demonstrate the kind of Nigeria that should be as it possess all the quality Nigeria ought to possess, and I must say that Nigerians from these schools are doing well internationally, we therefore need to do more to make Nigeria better acceptable throughout the world” General Gowon added.

Economic Downturn

He stressed that due to economic downturn, parents are not able to pay for fees in Europe, the former Head of State however tasked the government of President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure quality education in basic schools better than public schools abroad.

National Policy

The National President of Federal Government College, Warri Old Students Association, Sir Chyna Iwuanyanwu, urged the Federal government to come out with national policy to prohibit public office holders from sending their children abroad for primary and secondary school education.

Iwuanyanwu also appealed to the federal government to declare a state of emergency in the basic education sub sector adding that the war against corruption will come to nothing if the country’s educational system is not developed.

He added that for the unity schools, there is an urgent need to return to the admission policy of the pioneer unity schools.

“Issue of corporate government and quality teaching must be given serious attention, the infrastructure decay and over stretched facilities must be priority of government, training and welfare of teachers, corruption leakages and diversion of vital resources should be checked”

“the curriculum and educational content should be reviewed to address the current challenges in the Nigeria society” Iwuanyawu noted.

The FEGOCOWOSA President added that the vision of unity schools has become more relevant than it was in 1966 with the emerging forces seeking to tear Nigeria apart.

“We have resolved to mobilise all old students of the 104 unity schools in Nigeria unarguably old students network in Africa, in a partnership with the federal government towards the restoration of the vision of unity schools”

“With the kind if educational foundation we had in FGC warri, the unity and corporate existence of Nigeria is sacrosanct and non-negotiable, no product of warri or other federal government college can be associated with insurgency ,militancy, kidnapping or any activities to disintegrate Nigeria” Iwunanyawu added.

He disclosed that the Alumni of FEGOCOWOSA have decided to launch N1bn endowment fund for the school rehabilitation.

“it is time to join the government in providing quality education and human capital development for the younger generation”

Regional Schools

The then Federal Government, under the leadership of Prime Minister, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa in 1966 saw the need to establish Inter regional secondary schools which was later called Federal Government Colleges and most times referred to as unity schools in the three old regions of East, North and the West. The Unity Schools were sited in Okposi for the East, Sokoto for the North and Warri for the West.

The Success of these first generation Federal Government Colleges both in terms of National integration and academic excellence motivated the then Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon to pronounce the replication of the schools in other states of the federation.

One of the Old Students and an alumni of the College, Professor Julius Okojie who is also the Executive Secretary of National Universities Commission delivered a keynote address at the anniversary titled rekindling the vision of the founding fathers of unity schools.

Governor Akinwumi Ambode of Lagos State, Governor Okowa of Delta State, Former Minister of State for education, Hajiya Aduku, and the Executive Secretary of National Universities Commission ,Professor Julius Okojie , Senator Ogbeha, and many other prominent Nigerians are among the Alumni of the Federal government college Warri.