Charity Simon, Abuja
Nigeria’s Minister of Education Mallam Adamu Adamu, has said that no nation can achieve economic prosperity without a sound and functional education system.
Adamu said this in Abuja, at the presentation of “Education for Change”, Monday, adding that “the security and stability of our country depends on its ability to provide functional education to its citizens, bearing in mind that the key to fighting unemployment and truancy lies in education and skills acquisition”.
According to the minister, “we undertook the development of the Ministerial Strategic Plan for the Federal Ministry of Education in order to reposition Nigeria’s education sector to play a central role in the philosophy of the positive change of the President Muhammad Buhari’s administration. The result is this document designed to reposition the sector and lead to increase prosperity and competitiveness of the nation.
“We are all aware of the challenges confronting the education sector. While the world is producing knowledge professionals, Nigeria is still grappling, and leading the world, with the highest number of out of school children that are roaming the streets. We are also faced with the adverse effects of the insurgency in the Northeast and the negative consequences of that crisis to the education sector in the affected states and the very urgent need to develop a Marshal plan to address education in emergency situations”, the Minister said
According to him, “there are acute shortage of infrastructure and facilities in most public schools across the country. Teachers are poorly motivated and some are not qualified to deliver quality education. Learning achievement continues to be below expectations just as the employers of labour demand substantial improvement in the quality of the products of our educational institutions. With high levels of youth unemployment and global technology advancement, we need to prioritize technical and vocational education and training for our youth to have the requisite skills for the world of work”.
Adamu Adamu who also frowned at funding gap for education said “at the tertiary level, we must expand access as well as improve quality and align education performance to the society’s needs and to national development goals. We must build human capacities for national development.
“The Nigerian Education Management Information System, needs strengthening to ensure availability of accurate, reliable and timely statistical data for effective and efficient educational planning, management and policy-making .And in all this, funding gap exist everywhere. We all have a collective responsibility to address these grave challenges, salvage the system and return education to the path of excellence”, he stressed.
Earlier in his speech, Minister of state, Education, Prof. Anthony Anwukah, reminded that the core mandate of the Federal Ministry of Education was to facilitate national educational development through coordinating policy development, monitoring compliance with the set standards and fostering quality at all levels.
“We saw the need to develop a roadmap for the education sector. This is more imperative as the last Plan of the ministry ended in 2015. The document we are about to present to you today, is the outcome of our efforts at re-positioning the education sector to be relevant to our national needs and aspirations as well as meet the international agreed goals”, he said.