The Nigerian Patriotic Youth Network (NPYN) has flayed what it described as the lacklustre attitude of students and youths of Delta State towards the call for free education in the oil rich state.
NPYN, a global body, regretted that it was unfortunate that youths and students who were supposed to be beneficiaries of free education at all levels in the state were not interested in supporting the cause.
Coordinator of the group and former national president of National Association of Delta State Students (NADESSTU), Akpovire Godwin Ovuomaraini, who expressed these concerns, said the call for free education remained a beacon of hope in the pursuit of a state that thrives on the intellectual prowess of its citizens.
Ovuomaraini in a statement titled ‘The Dilemma of Delta: Unveiling the Cowardice Attitude Towards Free Education‘ lamented that as the advocacy for free education gathers momentum, “it is disheartening to observe the reluctance, sycophancy, and misplaced fears that shroud the very individuals who stand to benefit the most.”
He bemoaned that much progress was not being made in the advocacy because of the unexpected obstacle of cowardice being encountered.
“The proposed initiative seeks to break the chains of educational inequality, offering a chance for every Deltan to access quality education without the burden of exorbitant fees.
“However, a disconcerting pattern emerges as those who could shape a brighter future for Delta shy away from supporting this call.
“One would expect the youth, students, and parents to be at the forefront, championing the cause for free education. Surprisingly, it is this very demographic that seems to retreat into the shadows of hesitation. The question that looms is: why?
“Sycophancy, a phenomenon where individuals prioritize personal gain over the collective welfare, has found an unfortunate home in the hearts of some Deltans. Fearful of upsetting the status quo, some hesitate to openly endorse the call for free education, dreading the repercussions from those in power.
“Hunger, a pervasive issue in many communities, becomes a tool of manipulation. The fear of losing meager opportunities or facing economic repercussions stifles the voices that should be echoing the call for educational liberation. The shackles of hunger, ironically, become a barrier to advocating for a policy that could break the cycle of poverty.
“Lack of foresight, another impediment, clouds the judgment of those who are hesitant to support free education. The inability to see beyond immediate concerns blinds them to the long-term benefits of an educated populace – a populace capable of steering Delta towards unprecedented heights of development.
“It is indeed a shame and an unfortunate reality that the very individuals who could usher in positive change betray themselves through their reluctance to support a policy that promises to uplift generations. The courage to stand for what is right, the courage to envision a brighter future, seems to be elusive in the face of immediate challenges,” he said.
Ovuomaraini called on youths and students to brave the odds and overcome the shackles of hunger, poverty and deprivation to rejuvenate the educational inequality in the state.
“It is imperative for the youth, students, and parents to overcome the shackles of cowardice, sycophancy, hunger, and myopic vision. Only through unity and courage can Delta embrace a future where education is not a privilege but a right for all.
“The onus falls not only on the call for free education but on the collective consciousness of Delta to rise above the limitations that hinder progress. Only then can the true potential of this vibrant state be unlocked, and the promise of a brighter tomorrow be fulfilled,” Ovuomaraini added.