By Funmilayo Adeyemi/ Jennifer John
Abuja – Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, says every Nigerian child should be assisted to have access to quality education.
Adamu spoke on Tuesday in Abuja, at a news conference to mark the 2019 Commonwealth Day.
The theme of the 2019 Commonwealth Day is : “A Connected Commonwealth.’’
The New Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that the day is celebrated annually on the second Monday in March.
The Commonwealth, a voluntary association of independent sovereign states, mostly countries under the defunct British Empire, has 53 members with about 2.4 billion people.
This year’s celebration marks the 70th anniversary of the formation of the Commonwealth.
Adamu said that the coming together of the countries under the Commonwealth,
contributed to the provision of high quality education and training, through the sharing of resources and facilities.
According to him, the Commonwealth nations have been cooperating in the pursuit of their common goals and shared values in the area of education, trade, security and governance.
“The theme for this year’s celebration emphasises the need to work together to protect our natural environment and the ocean that we share.
“The Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan (CSFP), was instituted in 1959 to give practical expression to the declared intention of Commonwealth countries to contribute to the provision of high-level education.
“Since its inception, Nigeria has been operating as an awarding country. She maintains scholarship awards to other countries of the Commonwealth such as Sierra Leone.
“As a receiving/nominating country, Nigeria receives awards from other Commonwealth member countries such as UK, New Zealand and Australia.’’
The minister said that between 2015 and 2018, over 67 Nigerians were awarded Commonwealth scholarships to study in other Commonwealth countries.
He also said that scholars from some other Commonwealth countries are also currently studying in Nigerian tertiary institutions under the Commonwealth scholarship.
Adamu said the current Secretary-General of Commonwealth, Baroness Patricia was recently in Nigeria as part of the international observer team of the just concluded presidential election, which signified the importance of the day.
He highlighted some of the event lined up for the celebration to include youth lecture, quiz competition involving senior secondary children within the Federal Capital Territory, and drama presentation, among others.
Mr Sonny Echono, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, who spoke, urged Nigerians to take part in the event to “celebrate the connectivity and inclusiveness of our people.’’
Echono said the Commonwealth nations had 16 charters which spelt out the core values and principles which have been defined and strengthen at different stages throughout the Commonwealth’s history.
“It upholds and reaffirms the Commonwealth’s commitment to democracy, human rights, peace and security, good governance and protecting environment.
“ Providing access to health, education, food and shelter, gender equality, recognising the needs of small and vulnerable states and the important role civil society plays for all people of the Commonwealth,’’ he said.