Nigeria to build integrated learning centres

Timothy Choji, Abuja

Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo with some the winners of the Essay competition.

The Nigerian government will soon establish special schools for the children of Internally Displaced Persons-IDPs in the North-East zone of the country.

Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo  said that the special schools would serve as integrated learning centres for children in the North-East. He was speaking while receiving the winners of an essay competition organised for children of IDPs in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States.

Receiving a delegation from the North-East, which comprised of 18winners of the Essay competition tagged 2016 Protecting Education Advocacy Challenge (PEACH), the Vice President described the winners as stars.

“We will look at what we call an integrated learning centre where young children can learn and not just live there, but also have all the facilities to learn, to read, write and be creative in a very conducive environment. A special type of school that has all the facilities would be key in harnessing the true potentials of children, whose communities and homes have been ravaged by the Boko Haram insurgency.”

“I think that if you go to a school that has the right environment where everything has been provided, you will really have an opportunity to be the very best that you can be, so we are going  to look at that carefully and make sure that the children are  provided with the best possible education,” he said.

Professor Osinbajo with the IDP officials and the winners.

Excelling in life
Professor Osinbajo congratulated the winners, as he urged them to continue to work hard, be obedient and honest in order to excel in life.

He encouraged the children, saying, ”You are all important stars. I must also congratulate you for winning this competition. I know that if you continue to work very hard and act honestly, you tell the truth, if you obey your teachers and parents, you will do very well. I am very sure that you want to be Lawyers, Doctors, Nurses, Technology experts, Power experts, Professors and many more; the sky is your limit, as they say and I am sure that you will achieve everything that you set for yourselves.” 

He said all levels of government would collaborate in order to mentor the children to become great citizens of Nigeria.

One of the 18 winners shows his skill in football in admiration of Professor Osinbajo.

Continuous exercise
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on IDPs, Dr Mariam Masha explained that over 3,000 children entered for the competition from Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States and six winners emerged from each of the States, making a total of 18.

Breaking the figure Dr. Masha said:“A total of 3,397 children who participated in this comprising 812 from Yobe, 1, 230 from Adamawa and 1, 337 from Borno State and from the 3,397 we had 18 children who won the  competition in their various states.”

Dr Masha further said a lot of support was received from both public and private agencies, as she announced that each of the winners received a tablet and a solar power panel, to enhance their studies.

“The children were also presented with gift items comprising tablets, books, solar panels and accessories to provide electricity in their various homes,” she stated.

The Senior Special Assistant also said government would continue to support the children and the competition would be organised annually, to fish out more gifted children in the North-East.

“We intend this to be a yearly competition. We’ve drawn inspiration from the children and they have given us an assignment and it’s only right that we respond to that and we address their needs. They have challenged us to make this a yearly competition and it’s something that we will be doing and it’s something we intend to keep as we go forward, it’s all part of protecting education,” she added.