NGO encourages nationwide regulation of school age

Hanatu Enwemadu, the executive director of A Mother’s Love Initiate, has stated that in order to prevent system abuse, children’s entry age must be regulated.

AMLI is a non-governmental organisation based in Nigeria that advocates for equal rights, education, and opportunities for African children in the digital environment.

To accomplish its goals, the NGO collaborates with the Civil Society Actions Coalition on Education.In Lagos on Tuesday, Mrs. Enwemadu gave a speech in advance of Wednesday’s World Education Day in 2024.

The United Nations recognises January 24 to be World Education Day each year. It is a stock-taking programme on the way forward on child education.

The World Education Day theme for 2024 is “Learning for lasting peace.”

According to Mrs. Enwemadu, for kids to be able to tolerate the pressures of the classroom, they need to reach a point where, on average, their social and cerebral abilities have begun to develop.

The director of AMLi, who disapproved of the “hurried child syndrome” that had become social norms, pushed for a national policy governing the age at which Nigerian children might enrol in school.

She said, “As the world marks International Day for Education, it is an opportunity to right the wrongs in the system for a better society. This 2024, as the world focuses on the well-being of children through the lens of education with the theme, `Learning for lasting peace,’ it is pertinent that Nigeria, Africa as a whole and the world at large focus on what manner of children will create lasting peace.

“A mentally stable and balanced child is one who has been allowed to grow and develop at his/her natural pace. The mental health of children has its foundation in the appropriateness of school entry age.

“Children who are hurried through their learning and growth process eventually suffer deformity from ‘The hurried child syndrome’ and turn out to be psychologically, socially, and emotionally imbalanced.

”According to her, the Federal Government seeks to ensure that every Nigerian child returns to school and acquires basic literary and numeric skills at age 10.

“AMLi is advocating that children should only be allowed to enrol into age-related classes. Appropriateness of maturity, age, and psyche of children in schools must be a concern to all. Non-adherence to this approach contributes to the learning crisis currently affecting education in Nigeria”, she said.

According to her, as economic pressure sways and parents part with their children at an early age, the government should ensure that such practice is halted for the good of all.

She appealed to the National Orientation Agency and others to ensure that Nigerians were sensitised to the implications of under-age school enrolment which she viewed as hurrying children in their formative years.

She described the practice as a form of child abuse that could result in traumatic experiences and leave an adverse effect on the person.

She noted that the effects could have an impact on an individual’s adulthood, of which is a minus on society.

She appealed to education development partners, donors and NGOS to extend interventions to all parts of the country for an even development.