Leaders at all levels should consider the education of their people, especially children and girls, as a duty, enabling them access more socioeconomic opportunities and live better lives, according to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
Osinbajo stated this in Abuja on Saturday evening at an event organized to mark the 2021 Mass Literacy Day by the MALLPAI Foundation, a non-governmental organisation founded in 2009 by Hajiya Aisha Atiku Bagudu, the wife of the Kebbi State Governor.
MALLPAI, which means “Mass Literacy for the Less Privileged and Almajiri Initiative” addresses concerns around illiteracy and out-of-school children, with a commitment to enhancing the quality of life by supporting and empowering initiatives that improve access to health, education and agriculture opportunities for Nigerians.
According to the Vice President in a statement by his media aide, Laolu Akande, “We owe our people the duty to educate them. We owe our people a duty to lift their minds to the level where they can benefit maximally from their environment and give benefit to others.”
The VP said access to “education is a ticket to the full enjoyment of all human, civil and socio-political rights.
“So, at the most basic level, the ability to read and write, not just in one’s own language, but in global languages as well is crucial. To be deprived of education is to be deprived of the means of pursuit of a dignified existence where one can fully contest or collaborate with others for the benefits that life offers.”
While commending Hajiya Bagudu for her commitment and hard work, the VP noted that, “I truly believe that the more lives you transform in the communities you serve, the more the mind-set will shift in those communities towards embracing formal education for all.”
Osinbajo then commended the work of the MALLPAI Foundation, since 2009, for “doing the difficult work of improving access to education and creating skills acquisition opportunities for the poor and underprivileged communities.”
He observed that getting disadvantaged out-of-school children into formal education is a massive challenge, especially where, in some cases, “the prevailing culture is an obstacle.”