By Ngozi Onyeakusi– Nigerian Children have charged the government on the need to revamp the education sector as well as fix the healthcare, to prevent avoidable deaths.
Children who made the call at the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) supported youth dialogue, tagged #Naija Youth Talk – Lagos edition, equally call on the government to improve on skill acquisition programmes.
The event which is part of activities marking the 30 anniversary of Convention of the Rights of a child (CRC) coming up 20th of November, 2019, gave Nigerian children opportunity of highlighting issues confronting them as well proffer solutions on how to tackle them.
They is need for government to revamp the health, education sector, submitted.
Speaking at the event, Miss Nmesoma Okonkwo pointed out that the government should ensure that all schools are link to quality healthcare facilities outside the school.

“I am saying this because in my school, whenever we are sick, the only drugs they give to us is paracetamol. Paracetamol can not cure all sickness. I need the government to either upgrade the clinics in our schools or allow us access the healthcare facilities closer to our school,” she added.

Similarly, Onche Samuel added, “whenever you hear the name public school, the first thing that comes to your minds is one broken window, children sitting at the window, children are sitting on the ground, no quality education.

“Funny enough, in England, people pay more money to attend public schools than private schools because public school are better equipped than private schools. However, the reverse is the case in Nigeria.

He urged the government to buckle up their belts and revitalize the education sector, the way it should be.

I will also plead with government to build quality healthcare centers at the rural areas because most rural dwellers spend all their savings just to receive healthcare services in town. For Nigeria to achieve sustainable development goals(goal 3), there must be good health for all citizens irrespective of their location.

Responding, the Commissioner Of education, Lagos State, Mrs Folashade Adefisayo said the Lagos state government is passionate about improving the education sector.

Adefisayo said the state government will soon carry out a massive restructuring of all public schools within the state. She said, “The state government wants to have a look at the infrastructure, my governor, Dr jide sanwo olu is working to repair a lot of the schools.

“We know a lot of the schools are falling into a state of disregard, so he is working significantly on that, and also giving them things they need to run that.

“We are also going to invest in teachers, we are recruiting teachers just because many schools don’t have enough teachers, so we are going to train those teachers and keep on training the previous teachers as well. We are also going to look at the curriculum, what are they learning?

We are going to focus on our technical, knowledge then values and character based education.
To achieve all these projects, we intend to partner with critical stakeholders in the private sector.

We need this young people, we don’t know if we have the next president in this room, future doctor
We have to give them good education that will ensure that their future is assured. The greatness of Nigeria lies in all these children.

She however advised the youths to stay focused, as everybody is a leader. “I don’t believe in leaders of tommorow, I want the Nigerian youths to see themselves as leaders of today.So we must start the leadership qualities right now. Stay focused and stay strong.

The officer in charge, Lagos field office, UNICEF, Muhammad Okorie stated,

“Well today we are happy as UNICEF, First of all, that the convention on the right of the child is 30, so we are celebrating that and then in the midst of the celebration we have this opportunity where young people have been empowered to speak on issues concerning them, so today the programme we have today which is Niger Youth Talk in Lagos version of it, we have youths from different segments.
Young people are here today to tell us issues as they affect them and then also prefer solutions because the world we live today is different from the world we live yesterday or the ones our grand parents lived.

Children are very informed now, the technological advancement and everything happening around us has really empowered children to the extent that children can actually take decisions that affect them, they know issues the way they are and is no longer the time the older generation should think they know better in the issues that affects children. Today we have these children and we are here to listen to them to tell us how they feel about the health care delivery in Nigeria, education the education situation in Nigeria and then employability and skills”, she said.