The Niger Delta Royal Queens (NDRQ) at the weekend, Oct. 11, promised to confront cultism, corruption and other social vices in schools.
The queens, from various kingdoms in the oil-rich region, particularly blamed falling standard of education on examination malpractices in schools and promised to help in curbing the menace.
Speaking in Yenagoa, the President of NDRQ and wife of the Amayanabo of Twon Brass, Her Majesty Josephine Diete-Spiff said her group would tackle the vices and other challenges facing education in partnership with the National Association of Women in Colleges of Education (NAWCOE).
She said the decision was reached when NAWVOE paid her a visit at the Traditional Rulers Council Secretariat, Ovom.
Diete-Spiff identified lack of proper parenting, cultism and corruption as some of the major factors militating against quality education.
She said queens in their various domains would monitor their respective community schools and conduct advocacy and enlightenment programmes.
She said, “In each of our domain we have community schools, we have of course government presence as well. So we are going to talk to the teachers, talk to the headmasters or headmistresses or even the principals.
“So I think we will use that as a platform. After now we are having a meeting to decide what each and every one of us in our domain have to do on education to help the children to do the right thing.
“If they start well and parents put their eyes on these children, they are going to grow up well to be better leaders tomorrow. We are not only going to do that, we are going to do programs like talent hunts and so on that encourages literacy in schools so that children know how to read and write properly from the beginning and how to speak.
“These children they grow up and somehow lose their tenses because they are not properly brought up. We, the queens are going to use that as our 2020 vision, getting the children to be better trained because from the infantry when they are better trained, they grow up to be better leaders for our nation.”
Also speaking, the National President of NAWVOE, Dr. Zipporah Duguryil, said as a nation, Nigeria was faced with challenges and that schools had a role to play in curbing them.
Duguryil from the Chemistry Department, Federal College of Education Pankshin, Plateau State, most parents lacked the time to care for their children.
She said, “The truth is that most of our parents, they are absentee parents. What we will do is to step down using advocacy in our various communities inviting parents to come around to tell them that there is a need for proper parenting.
“All our chapters, we will commission them to organize seminars, organize workshops for parents and tell them that some of the problems that we have is because they are absentee parents, is because they are irresponsible parents.
“Irresponsible in quote because what parents seems to be looking for is bread on the table not forgetting the fact that beyond the bread, the child need character and that character you can’t buy it in the market. You instill character in a person.
Further speaking, the Provost, Federal College of Education (Technical) Umunze, Anambra State, Dr. Tessy Okoli said examination malpractice was a canker-worm in the educational sector, emphasizing on the need for attitudinal change.
“Corruption is part of them. Ignorance is a major cause too but when we ourselves as parents are made to be aware of what we are supposed to be doing, our duty to our children especially educationally, that is why the association, we are out to address this issue especially that of examination malpractice by advocacy, creating awareness.
“When you train a child especially a girl child, you train a nation by making sure they do what they need to do in the school, during assignment looking at what they are doing, making them to read, stilling reading culture because once a child is able to read starting from onset, when exams come you won’t be afraid.
“But the problem is that they are not ready to read. Most of them want to sort out. Most unfortunate even some parents go to sort for their children. So the whole thing started from us, the elders even the larger society,” she said.