Former President Goodluck Jonathan has further revealed why his administration spent about N15billion, building 165 Almajiri schools in Northern States of Nigeria.
Jonathan who spoke in Abuja yesterday during a book presentation entitled “Dear Goodluck Jonathan” said “education for change” was a personal philosophy and driving force of his leadership.
This was even as he lamented that some of the educational programmes his administration devel oped for total transformation of the country were killed by lawmakers of the 7th National Assembly. The former leader noted that he believed that the Almajiri system would be transformed to develop the potential of some of the Almajiri children that had manifested high intelligence.
According to him, his administration carried out a research and analysis which showed that the Almajiri children in the north would be elevated through western education to become responsible citizens of the society.
He further stated that apart from building the Almajiri schools, his interest in education made him to liberalise admission process at the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) to accommodate more women against the age-long tradition of taking only men.
He said: “No matter what you do, without education it will be difficult for the society to change, that is my personal philosophy, it may not be the best “Why did I intervene in the Almajiri case? From the analysis we did, we found out that we needed to elevate them above that level because if you leave them at that level, it will cause more problems for us.
“Some of these Almajiri children have the brains to become medical doctors etc, but without exposing them to Western Education, you would have blocked sources many of them behind.
“That was what guided me to open up Nigerian Defence Academy for the ladies. I just felt that a lady that decides to take up military career must not be limited to the rank of Major.
“If we must change Nigeria, we must be competent scientifically and technologically because technology is ruling the world “I came up with Presidential Special Scholarship for Innovation and Development though my parliamentarians killed that programme.”