29th January, 2018
Mrs Judith Amaechi, the Founder of Empower Support Initiative (ESI), a non-governmental organisation, says early education is the key to eradicating militancy and the use of children in carrying arms.
Amaechi, who said this while speaking with newsmen on Sunday in Abuja, noted that nursery and primary education were the most important in the life of every child.
“This is because it comes at the time when moral values and discipline were instilled in the child to guide him or her against being used as a militant,’’ she said.
Amaechi therefore said every child should be given the opportunity and access to education for his/her future to be moulded in preparation for becoming a better leader.
“Why wait until a child is 18 years old before you start shaping him?
“If you catch them young, you can make or mar them. From age zero to nine, you instill morals, education, values, hope and discipline at that tender age.
“You can’t blame a child that is not privileged to be educated.
“Some of us are privileged. What are we doing to help those that are less privileged? How can we break that chain of lack of education?
“Primary school is a delicate stage. Some children in primary schools are persuaded to carry arms, and to join in militancy at that tender age. But education is power and we should use it,’’ she said.
Amaechi then said every child should be given the opportunity to go to school.
She said a lot of Nigerian children lack the opportunity.
“That is why our NGO set up a group to join in asking about the area we are supporting so as to get the children back to school.’’
According to Amaechi, so far the initiative has enrolled 4,000 children in primary schools which cut across the 23 local government areas in Rivers.
She however said ESI was ready to partner with other NGOs and individuals to establish primary schools and skills acquisition centres in the FCT.