Prince Yusuf, who made this plea at the first season of the Prince of Hope Quiz and Debate Competition for students of junior and senior secondary schools in his constituency, said it was clear that the government alone could no longer handle education.
According to him, instead of wasting huge funds on irrelevant things, wealthy Nigerians should assist public schools as these schools have brilliant students who unfortunately come from poor homes.
“People talk about Obafemi Awolowo and Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, but it is not the amount they had in their bank accounts or the number of children they had that made them popular. It was the value that they were able to add to the survival of the country.
“The prime movers of development anywhere in the world are the youths. We must be able therefore to re-orientate their thinking.”
He maintained that a nation that overlooked the development of its youths would continue to be haunted by unrest and criminal activities.
“I was impressed concerning the way the children answered the questions during the debate and quiz and I stand to advise that it is high time elected public officers stopped thinking about themselves, but the interest of the society that elected them.
“One of the young students during the debate told us that it is not the total number of policemen we have in the country that would prevent crime, but what can do it is gainful employment. I believe this and I support that student,” he said adding that such educational programmes would bring out the best in students.
The lawmaker further lamented that most students no longer read, but had rather concentrated more on social networking sites from which they learn evil things.
“Everybody is crazy about the blackberry and smart phones and all they do with these phones is ‘ping’ using abbreviations. At the end such spellings get into their subconscious and stick.
“Parents also support their wards to go to special centres instead of encouraging them to read. If children use social networking sites positively, it would have been fine, but what do we see today?” he asked.
The lawmaker, who had last week begun a soccer competition for youths in his constituency, promised to continue to engage as many of his constituents as possible in meaningful ventures that would give them a better future.