Former governor of Imo State and Senator representing Imo West, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, has called on Federal Government to declare state of emergency in education.
He said this has become necessary because of the increasing number of out-of-school children across the country which he said constitute security risk.
He cited the recent United Nations statistics which put the number of out-of-school children at about 13 million, saying the bulk of the number comes from the North East.
While calling on government to invest more in education to stop the trend, Okorocha frowned at the amount budgeted for education in the 2020 Appropriation Bill which he said was meagre. He warned on the consequence of the trend describing it as time a bomb waiting to detonate if the situation is allowed to degenerate further.
He attributed the menace to poverty, adding that places with highest number of out-of-school children, were those with high rate of poverty. He noted that as an individual he has done what he could in private capacity and in public service through his Rochas Foundation by building several schools across the country with over 20,000 indigent students going to school without paying school fees across the nation mostly in the north and instituting free education as governor of Imo State.
He blamed inability of government to fund education to reduction in the money coming from oil which he said can no longer sustain the nation’s economy. He cautioned that the problem will not stop because there was no magic to it as he maintained that the economy has to be right for government to be able to take care of the issue of out-of-school children.