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Free education will reduce poverty, says Child-rights Advocate

A U.S.-based child rights and abuse advocate, Atim Tolbert, has called on the government to provide free basic education for all children across schools in every state, especially in under-developed communities.
She made the call on Monday during a virtual meeting organised by the Reach out Africa Charity Initiative (ROACI), a Non-governmental organization.
Tolbert, who is also a domestic violence expert, said that education is the bedrock of every nation, capable of plugging poverty gaps and giving equal opportunities to children across every group and strata
“Education is paramount to closing poverty gaps and is a plug for social capital development. With free education, there are equal opportunities for every child, which brings about togetherness and peaceful coexistence.
“This automatically means all children have the same opportunities, and the poverty cycles in most families in Nigeria will drastically be reduced,” she added.
She further stressed that if children can be given quality education in their formative stages, society no longer needs to worry about societal vices like banditry, armed robbery, and internet crimes.
“I am speaking from experience; in my time, the then Governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Fashola, gave us free education. We didn’t have to worry about anything; we also had food in school; everything was provided; you just go and learn.
“If we set them up in their early stages, we would have positively empowered them to channel their knowledge into good-quality lifestyles and moral standards.
“Then again, when kids are not in school, it opens the door for exploitation, for sex trafficking in underage girls, early/forced marriages, extremist groups, and social instability breeding societal unrest.
“I urge the government to look into some policies that would correct the menaces surrounding our children. Nigeria is our country, and we need to come back home,” she said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the meeting was held ahead of the United Nations Change Summit.
The Summit, themed “Unite for Change,”  will be held in Lagos and Abuja and is designed to serve as a bridge between continents, uniting global influencers to address pressing societal issues in Nigeria. (NAN)

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