ABUJA-The Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, has stressed the need for total overhaul of Nigeria’s education sector, in order to achieve the education 2030 agenda for sustainable development.
The Minister who said this in his keynote address, at the ongoing Ministerial Session of the 63rd National Council on Education (NCE) meeting on Wednesday in Abuja, noted that funding is the bane of Nigeria’s educational growth and development at all levels.
You would recall that the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is aimed at wiping out poverty through sustainable development by 2030 and attends to the “unfinished business” of the Education for All (EFA) Goals and the education related MDGs.
Adamu who stated that the 2030 Agenda also recognizes the pivotal role of education as means to achieving the other SDG goals, however said, that it cannot be achieved without the integral element of funding which is central to efficient and effective education.
According to him, the decision of the Federal Ministry of Education to host the 63rd National Council of Education (NCE) meeting, is informed by the Federal government’s firm belief that there is an urgent need to overhaul the education sector in order to achieve rapid socio-economic development.
The Minister emphasized that the burden on education has become overwhelming on the three tiers of government and resources are spread more thinly, translating into creating challenges in ensuring quality education and called for collaborative effort of all stakeholders, corporate and private organizations.
“It is not rare to see cases where there are 100 pupils for one teacher as against the UNESCO benchmark of 35 students per teacher, or where students learn under trees for lack of classrooms, as it is the case in North-Eastern Nigeria where the scourge of insurgency has deprived many children access to education, through the gradual depletion of infrastructural facilities.
“In achieving the goals of education 2030 Agenda, conscious efforts must be made to increase funding of education. Federal Government, States, the FCT, local government councils, development partners, civil society organizations, labour unions and associations, the media and all stakeholders in education should interface, through the instrumentality of the National Council on Education, to formulate and implement policies required to achieve the Education 2030 Agenda” he said.
While speaking on security and safety of educational institutions, he stated that Nigerian educational institutions and students have become endangered due to insurgency, adding that the need to map out cordinated action plan for institutions to always be on security alert, can no longer be underestimated.
“The Safe School Initiative (551) launched by the last administration has received a boost from the present administration. Under the Safe School Initiative, in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Finance and National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), the Ministry has successfully transferred 2,274 out of 2,400 internally displaced children from Adamawa, Borno and Yobe to 43 Federal Government Colleges.
“Also, in collaboration with UNICEF, it has registered 200,000 IDP children in double shift school system, recruited 554 teachers, procured and distributed 112 containerized classrooms to the various IDP Camps in Adamawa, Bomo and Yobe States” he pointed out.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Minister of State for Education, Prof. Anthony Anwukah, noted that the funding received by the education sector is less than adequate for the essential development of the sector, calling on all stakeholders to collaborate with the government by increasing investment in the education sector.
While stating that the huge turnout of participants, is a clear evidence of their commitment to quality education, he urged key players in the sector to provide the required technical support to move the sector forward.
The meeting of the highest policy-making body which is the largest gathering of policy makers and technocrats in the education sector in Nigeria, has its theme as, “Funding of Education for the Achievement of Education 2030 Agenda”.