By Ese Awhotu
The Minister of State for Education, Hon. Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, has said that the Federal Government will no longer tolerate bullying in the nation’s schools, maintaining that the damage the act does to the mental, social and psychological wellbeing of victims calls for concern.
Hon. Nwajiuba stated this in Abuja at a training of over 100 young boys and girls on anti-bullying organised by ‘I AM THE FUTURE OF NIGERIA YOUTH INITIATIVE’, a non-profit organisation in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Federal Capital Territory Authority, Nigeria Police Force and the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC).
The Minister of State said that bullying was capable of stopping children from being productive and responsible members of the society, hence, the need to urgently address the ugly phenomenon in the nation’s secondary schools.
According to the Minister of State, it is the responsibility of the entire society to ensure that ‘we bring up children who know that every other child is very important.
‘The wellbeing of every child is our concern.’, the Minister reiterated in a statement by Ben Bem Goong, Deputy Director (Press) in the ministry yesterday.
Speaking further, the Minister of State said that it is his collective responsibility with Education Minister, Adamu Adamu to ensure that Nigerian children find their school environments conducive for learning and other beneficial activities.
In their remarks, founders of the Initiative, 15 and 20-year-old Renee and Zara Okocha, also known as the Okocha Sisters, said that the training was necessitated by their drive to kick illiteracy and bullying out of the nation by creating safe learning environments for students.
According to them, the ‘Kick Out Bullying in our Schools’ program was a great example of young people’s voices and how they can initiate anti bullying programs to make a huge difference on individuals, schools and communities in the country.
They disclosed that the antibullying programme was developed to teach Nigerian children to respect others as well as ensure that kindness and quality education continue to grow and develop in all schools in the country.
The Okocha Sisters, who stated that they are young authors of over 20 school children books for first readers, said they look good to do in academics what their uncle (JJ Okocha) has done in football.