At a campaign rally earlier this year, President Goodluck Jonathan offered a detailed depiction of the deprivations he suffered in Otuoke, now in Bayelsa State, as a schoolboy whose parents were impoverished. Said Mr. Jonathan: “In my early days in school, I had no shoes, no school bag. I carried my books in my hands, but never despaired. There were days I had only one meal, but I never despaired. My story is the story of a young Nigerian whose access to education opened up vast opportunities that enabled me to attain my present position.”
But, as the following heartbreak pictures reveal, most Nigerian children born in the decades since Jonathan was in school live under worse circumstances. Indeed, the situation is grimmer as many present-day Nigerian children not only fend for themselves but often also contribute to the income of the family by engaging in different odd or menial jobs. The question is: Without a sound education, what does the future hold for these children, especially in the contemporary, technology-driven world?