Scholars move to curb male drop out in Abia
By Steve Oko
Worried by the increasing rate of male child drop out from school, scholars from Ihechiowa community in Arochukwu Local Government Area of Abia State, have initiated moves to curb the ugly trend.
The scholars took the decision after their virtual conference weekend which centred on galvanising Ihechiowa academics towards community-focused development and research as well as reviving academic excellence in the ancient town.
They noted with concern the rate at which male students drop out of school, and agreed that if no urgent steps were taken to remedy the situation, it would adversely impact on the future of the community.
The scholars identified materialism and get-rich quick syndrome as the major cause of the ugly scenario.
They frowned at the culture of celebrating wealth irrespective of the source, warning that such absurdity casts bad influence on the youths who ordinarily would have pursued a career in academics.
The scholars said “unwholesome activities such as armed robbery, kidnapping, yahoo-yahoo, murder, ritual killings etc. as a means of getting rich with sudden leap”, should be discouraged.
They, therefore, resolved to take up a pet project on youth mentorship which they termed “strive to reproduce your junior colleague in your field of endeavoue”, as a way to encourage male child school enrolment.
The scholars further resolved to mobilize educational materials such as books and resources “to register as many boys as possible to go back to school between now and December “.
“We will begin ‘Operation adopt one Male child’ just for public primary and secondary schools”, they said in a release by the host, Dr. Uwaoma Uche, Head, Mass Communication, Rehma University Aba.
The scholars also resolved to float a scholarship scheme to encourage students, and to assist in retraining of teachers in the area to increase their capacity.
They further resolved to pursue “an express staffing process” to quickly fill up the existing vacancies in schools in the area.
They, however, appealed to the State Government through the Ministry of Education to “post young, enthusiastic, and well qualified teachers who are more transportable than older teachers to our schools.”
They also appealed to government to provide facilities that are male friendly in schools to help retain male students and encourage male enrolment.
Some of the participants at the virtual conference were Dr. Okuu Okwuagwu of the Abia State University Uturu; Dr Uchenna Ota, London; Dr. Mrs Analechi Otta, USA; Mrs Ugo igbokwe and Engr Chris Olukwu.