'Compel States To Declare Free Education'

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MGodwin Abba, Senior Pastor of Word Alive Revival Ministry, has appealed to President Goodluck Jonathan to prevail on state governments to declare free education for children.

Abba made the appeal on Sunday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja shortly after a special service to mark the church’s 2011 Children of Destiny’s Convention.

The convention is an annual event organised by the Church for children.

Abba said that providing free education was the only guarantee to a better future for the Nigerian child.

“I hear that the new government is really serious about the future of this nation and I subscribe to this.

“But the only way to guarantee this is to make access to education for children very easy,” he said.

“I want the new administration of President Jonathan to compel all the state governments to declare free education for their citizenry, and make it a crime for parents to keep their children out of school,” Abba added.

He described children as the future of any nation, and said that nothing should be done to deny them access to education.

Earlier in his sermon, the cleric had urged governments at all levels to focus more on the welfare of children, especially those in the rural areas.

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He noted that in the past, too much attention had been given to children in urban centres, adding that it was high time priority was given to those in the rural areas.

The cleric also admonished parents to bring up their children in the way of the Lord, so that they could be responsible citizens when they become adults.

Abba urged parents to be mindful of the actions of their children and to caution them whenever they were found wanting.

Also speaking, Ijeoma Okoro, the coordinator of the Children Department of the church, said the event was one of the church’s contributions to the moral upbringing of the child.

She said children’s demonstration of acts of holiness, responsibility and love in their presentations at the special service was the beginning of the role they hope to play in the future.

Okoro said the theme of this year’s celebration, “wisdom”, was in line with the church’s teachings on the virtue of wisdom in all that children should be taught.

The high point of the 2011 edition of the convention was a special church service anchored by the children and their teachers.

The service featured a short drama, quiz, choreography, and a short sermon by a representative of the children.