Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State has frowned at the predispositions of some parents to believe that government was meant to cater for the education of their children from primary to tertiary level.
Speaking in Ibadan at the public presentation of Wale Okediran’s book titled, “Tales of a Troubadour”, on Thursday, Akeredolu said it was worrisome the penchant for some parents to shirk from their responsibility of educating their children assuming that such was the government’s duty.
As compared to the past where parents committed resources and time to the education of their children, Akeredolu, who chaired the event, bemoaned that some parents had virtually handed over this responsibility to government.
“Not many people today see that they have responsibility for their children. They believe that once they have their children, they belong to the government. The government must buy books, must clothe them, must feed them not only at primary but up to tertiary level. These children are not government children; they belong to their parents and they must invest in their education.
There is no way parents would not bear responsibility for their children. Some parents do not want to buy books, even exercise books. They believe everything should come from the government. Is that possible?” Akeredolu held.
Speaker further, Akeredolu stressed the need for governments of the South West, through the Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN), to ensure that its schools in the region are proliferated with books that portray our cultural beliefs.
As against the get-rich thinking of Nigerian youths, he said such books will help regurgitate values of hard work, honesty that has now become depleted in the society.
He bemoaned that the destructive tendencies of technology and computers were rather embraced by today’s young Nigerians, calling on parents help revitalize reading culture by encouraging their children to visit libraries and read books in hard copy form.
Akeredolu praised Okediran as humane, gentle, courageous, urging him to be more focused on further establishing himself as a writer than a politician.
In alignment with Akeredolu’s thoughts, book publisher, Mr Yinka Lawal-Solarin urged parents to greatly invest in buying books for their children or wards, and not rely on government.
He, however, bemoaned that the publishing industry failed to thrive due to government policies.
Lawal-Solarin urged government across levels to motivate indigenous authors to write textbooks that portray our cultural milieu, encourage local book production, and invest in school infrastructure.
Such government interventions, he noted, will improve investments in the print industry, create employment and improve the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Reviewing the 286-page travelogue, Professor Mabel Evwierhoma saluted the author’s versatility in chronicling his traveling experiences around the world to express optimism that Nigeria was not that hopeless compared to other countries. She added that the 28-chapter book stressed the critical role of competent leadership in reconfiguring governance deficit and positively shaping the nation.
The list of guests at the book presentation included Professor Femi Osofisan; Emeritus Professor Olujimi Akinkugbe; Mr Kunle Ajibade; the Olugbon of Orile-Igbon, Oba Francis Alao; Managing Director/Editor in chief, African Newspapers of Nigeria Plc, Mr Edward Dickson; Editor, Sunday Tribune, Mr Sina Oladeinde.