Proprietor of Living Fountain International School, Abuja, Oludare Bello, has made a case for out-of-school children, saying the Federal Government should care more in order to dissuade them from joining Boko Haram insurgents and other terrorist organisations.
Bello, who spoke to newsmen recently in Abuja during the school’s inter-house sports competition, also encouraged the private sectors to salvage the looming disaster by sufficiently investing in education.
According to him, government alone cannot fill the education gap which is why the number of out-of-school children had been on the increase.
He said, “it is a fact that government alone can no longer do it and that is why in the private sectors are intervening in the education sector.
“If you leave it in the hands of government alone there will be so many vagabonds roaming around the town. So, my appeal is that more investments in the private sectors.
“Now if everybody feels unconcerned to the development of the youth before you know it, you are raising army of BokoHaram and marauders along our roads.
“Look at the almajiri, people thought that they do not belong to everybody but look at what they are doing today. It is the army they are raising for Boko Haram.”
Speaking on the declining reading culture among young people, he blamed it partially on parents who pay little or no attention to the activities of their children.
He suggested that parents and guardians must regulate what their children watch and how they utilise the internet.
“It is not as if you have to eliminate it; you have to moderate it. How many hours do you expose your children to the internet? What are they browsing? So these are some of the things that are affecting the reading habits of children.
“But with the kind of trainings we are giving to this children and admonishment from their parents, I think things are taking a very good shape.
“And then children are moderated to sleep at the right time and have a reading timetable,” he added.
The administrator maintained that the inter-house sports competition was organised to physically build the children and for mental alertness.
He expressed optimism that someday, some of the kids would toe the path of Tiger Woods and other international athletes.
“This is a grand finale of a week-long inter house sports competition with the primary and the high schools, for this year. Sports is one of the things that linger on in the minds of the youth.
“Some of them cannot even run but they can participate in the march past. It is one of the finest things this school is encouraging them to catch them young particularly when we develop this kind of latent attributes of these children.
“You see somebody like Tiger Woods, he started training at the age of three. He developed along with it. So many talents outside the classroom can be nurtured at this level and that is why we try not only to emphasize the academics but the extracurricular.
“It gives them mental alertness even for them to catch on with what the teachers are saying,” he said.
The school’s administrator, James Onemesi, said so many schools were invited to have a fill of the exercise.
“As we are having it today, we have invited so many schools. We have about eight schools that have responded.
“There is an aspect of the competition called invitational relay that is where they will come in. It is going to be towards the end of the competition,” he said.