- The Royal Commonwealth Society in Nigeria (RCS) has launched the 2022 Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition
- Participants are selected from different categories ranging from different age classes starting from age 14 to 18
- Meanwhile, the flag-off of the essay competition is also in commemoration of Queen Elizabeth II 70th year on the throne as the monarch of the United Kingdom
FCT, Abuja - The Royal Commonwealth Society in Nigeria (RCS) has called on the government and other stakeholders to help salvage the educational system in Nigeria.
The RCS country director in Nigeria, Mr. Blackson Olaseni Bayewumi made this known on Friday, June 3 in Abuja during the launch of the 2022 Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition, hosted by Cradle 2 Harvard International School.
While speaking to pressmen at the event, Mr. Blackson said the essay competition is staged annually in fulfillment of one of the virtues and values of the Commonwealth.
He also revealed that the launching of the essay competition was also to commemorate the platinum jubilee of the Queen of England, Elizabeth II who marked her 70th-year reign on the throne.
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“We are publicly launching the 2022 edition of Queen’s commonwealth essay competition for schools in Nigeria for them to join their colleagues across the commonwealth nations to participate in the competition.
“The winner will be invited to one of the palaces in London for a one-week event and a lot of certificates will be given.
“Secondly, we're celebrating her majesty’s Platinum Jubilee. She has been dedicated and committed to promoting the values of the commonwealth.”
Also speaking at the event, the host and president of Cradle 2 Harvard International School, Mr. Phrank Shaibu said his love for writing and education inspired him to host the official flag-off of the essay competition.
He said the competition is being held across the commonwealth nations of the world as it is also open to all senior and junior high schools of both private and public settings.
Education in Nigeria needs improved infrastructure - Phrank Shaibu
When asked about the state of the educational system and what the future holds for Nigeria, Mr. Shaibu was quick to respond stating that Nigeria needs a drastic reform in its educational system.
Mr. Shaibu said:
“I have seen the state of our educational system, particularly as it relates to what we call educational tourism and I believe it is an opportunity for us, particularly myself and an educationist to lead to charge and salvage our educational system.
“We have over 215 universities in Nigeria, and the carrying capacity for these universities is not more than 225,000 annually. We have over 1.9 million students across the federation who writes the JAMB exams every year, what that means is that there's danger."
He further added that there is a need to improve infrastructure in other to accommodate more students into the classrooms. He said a vast majority of high school students who did not make it to the tertiary level are part of those constituting nuisance thereby breeding insecurity in the country.
Mr. Shuaibu said:
"The only way we can stop insecurity in Nigeria is to first deal with the issue of education and that's why we are here to lead the campaign at Cradle 2 Harvard International School."
ASUU strike shows govt's complacency
Reacting to the incessant strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the failure of the government to reach a compromise with the union, Shaibu said the situation shows the inadequacies and incompetence of the government in leading the charge for a standard academic environment.
He slammed the government while making reference to a number of Nigerian students who are trooping out to neighboring West African nations like Ghana and the Republic of Benin to pursue a degree.
Supporting his charge, Mr. Blackson appealed to the federal government to reach a compromise in due time in other to allow students to go back to the classrooms.
“Concerning the issue of ASUU, we can only appeal to the federal government and ASUU because I believe there is no issue that dialogue cannot resolve. We have to reach compromise because of the future generation.”
Meanwhile, the launch of the 2022 Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition featured a lot of side attractions with the attendance of various schools in Abuja and Nasarawa as well as powerful dignitaries from different countries of the commonwealth nations.
The students of Cradle 2 Harvard International School gave a rendition of the Nigerian and the British national anthem in a soothing rhythmical cadence that was greeted with sound applause from the audience.
A short drama of the reign of Queen Elizabeth was also performed by the students as well as a cultural dance by the instructors and teachers of the school.
FG moves to end ASUU strike with payment of N34bn minimum wage arrears
In another development, the federal government has hinted at ending the three month old ASUU strike.
The federal government has announced that it would give out the sum of N34bn for the payment of minimum wage arrears.
Chris Ngige who made the disclosure on Tuesday noted that the payment is not meant for ASUU alone but would also include academic staff members of Polytechnics and Colleges of Education.