Insecurity: Unity School Principals Harp on Peace Building through Education – THISDAY Newspapers
Worried about the spate of insecurity in schools, the Chairman of Principals of Federal Unity Colleges (FUCs) Dr. Tokunbo Yakubu-Oyinloye, has called on stakeholders to use education to create a consciousness in the youths to strive at all costs to be better citizens and build a better nation.
Yakubu-Oyinloye, who is the Principal of Queen’s College, Lagos, said providing quality education for both males and females can be a veritable tool for curbing, if not totally eradicating social vices, thus safeguarding schools, and the society will be at peace.
She said this in her welcome address at this year’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Principals of FUCs in Gombe State, with the theme ‘The Role of Education in Eradicating Social Vices and Safeguarding Schools in this Era of Insecurity’.
According to her, if children are enrolled in schools early enough, their orientation will be geared towards the peaceful coexistence of all. She described the classroom as a platform that brings children of different origins together where they are taught how to live and work together peacefully.
“This will bring about national/global peace and development. The Federal Unity Colleges are uniquely suited for this task since our students are drawn from all over the nation, she said.
The chairman therefore urged principals to be willing and ready to learn new things and be equipped with better ways to function optimally in their schools.
While thanking the federal government, through the Federal Ministry of Education for the various interventions and supportive contributions to the success of unity schools, she expressed hope that the new federal science and technical colleges will be assisted to start functioning. “This of course will go a long way to increase access to education and thus reduce social vices in the nation.”
She also applauded the government for the extension of retirement age from 60 to 65 years, and years of service from 35 to 40 years for education officers. “This is a great morale booster to all education officers as we will be able to deploy the experience and knowledge gained over the years to further build up our FUCs to the required high academic and moral standard expected.”
In spite of the successes recorded, she said the colleges are grappling with the challenges of increase in the cost of foodstuff and goods and services; inadequate staff; overstayed staff who constitute themselves into obstacles to progress in various schools; unpaid salaries of teachers and others employed in 2018; ageing vehicles, among others.
“We thus appeal to the Federal Ministry of Education to look into how funding to the FUCs can be increased by way of increasing meal subsidy, overhead and capital allocations. We also appeal for the employment and deployment of more teachers and non-teaching staff to various schools according to their needs, while overstayed staff should be redeployed.”
Yakubu-Oyinloye also emphasised the importance of training and retraining for different categories of staff, “so that we can all step up to the plate and meet the challenges of this 21st century digital age. National Institute for Educational Planning and Administration (NIEPA) can be empowered to carry out some of these trainings.”
She said the event was an opportunity for principals of the 110 FUCs to meet, interact, share ideas, and learn from one another to enable them to improve their schools.
“It is also an opportunity to interact with our directors and top Federal Ministry of Education officials. More so, it is an opportunity to ask questions about various challenges and get answers that give us insights into how to solve such problems.”