Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has called for concerted efforts to mitigate both immediate and long-term adverse effects of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on education, particularly on the basic level.
He added that it was incumbent on all stakeholders as a society to ensure that children attained their full potential in life through education during their formative years.
Atiku, who was Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate during the 2019 general elections, expressed concern that efforts to make life easy and better for the children were yielding abysmal results with outbreak of coronavirus across the country.
Abubakar made the call in a statement signed by his Media aide, Paul Ibe, in Abuja on Wednesday, to mark the 2021 Children’s Day.
He said that COVID-19 had caused many schools to be partially or completely shut down as the world struggle to curtail the spread and find a cure for the deadly disease.
Abubakar recalled a report released in March by Save the Children Network, which stated that: “children across the world have lost an average of one-third (74 days) of education each due to school closure and lack of access to remote learning.”
According to him, the report also corroborated by UNESCO findings, concludes that: “close to half the world’s students are out of school worldwide due to partial or full school closures linked to the Coronavirus pandemic”.
“It is a reminder that a lot of work is needed in this direction to mitigate both the immediate and long-term adverse effects of the pandemic on education in all facets, but most importantly, those of the children.
“Education is the bedrock of any society, and the pandemic is a wake-up call on administrators and leaders at all levels to do more, by putting in place infrastructure, and making available learning materials in institutions of learning.
“The onus is on leaders to create a safe environment for the little ones and it is the duty of parents to inculcate in children good behavior and instill in them, high moral values.”
The former vice president congratulated the children on the memorable day set aside to celebrate them. He urged them to be good ambassadors of their parents and country wherever they may be and wished them success in their chosen careers and future endeavors.