2020 Budget: Stakeholders call for judicious use in education sector

Temitope Mustapha, Abuja

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Stakeholders in the Education Sector have called for judicious use of funds allocated to the Nigerian Education sector in the 2020 budget.

The latest of the call was made by the former Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Education, Mr Mac John Nwabiola while reacting to issues affecting the education sector.

The former Permanent Secretary also said the amount the federal government allocated to the Education sector in the 2020 budget  is not the main challenge but the appropriate use,which he said is more critical .

“in terms of the investment in education, the money that government allocates to the education sector every budget year should be efficiently used, it is very important, it is not the amount but the usage that is very critical “

Nwabiola also called for the review of curriculum at the basic education sub sector saying more emphasis should be on vocational and technical education.

He identified capacity building for teachers and stressed that the Teachers’ Registration Council of Nigeria TRCN ,should be given adequate support to sanitize the teaching profession in the country.

So we need a change of curriculum, we need capacity development for our teachers, I’m happy that there is a deadline by the end of December 2019,  if you are not a certified teacher in Nigeria, you cannot teach anymore, those are things we should encourage, then our school environment; we should create a conducive environment for learning, for teaching and learning and it is not just on the part of the government”.

we need to review our curriculum for instance, why can’t we place lot more emphasis on vocational and technical education, You discover that even graduates after they come out of school, they still want to go and learn a trade, something that they would have done from the beginning, When they were younger and more enthusiastic about it”.

He requested the private sector to invest more in the basic , post Basic and tertiary Institutions via scholarships and philanthropic acts.

we are requesting the private sector to come into education, not primary school alone , secondary school including universities, I know that there are a lot of private universities, but we are encouraging private people, philanthropists, people that are public spirited to come to support education, provide scholarships for children”

He commended the Tertiary Education Trust Fund TETFUND, for it’s intervention across public higher Institutions, he added that the fund has changed the landscape of the Institutions.

The funding agencies, I am happy at what TETFUND is doing as an interventionist agency, it has done, in fact TETFUND has changed the education language landscape and I want to put it on record, if you go to a lot of the universities now, you will see TETFUND’S presence and they are doing a lot, they monitor, they ensure that there is value for money, those are things we should begin to do”

The former Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Education stressed that the government should ensure that the right people are appointed to head the agencies under the ministry to sustain leadership.

Another important thing I keep saying are different levels the quality of leadership, those that are appointed to head different stages of education is very important, if you put square pegs in square holes”

He argued that the standard of education in Nigeria is not falling as presumed but that deliberate efforts must be made to reposition the sector.

According to Nwabiola, “it looks like there is a contrast, our children, the young ones that have the opportunity of growing outside the country, when they go outside, maybe because of the environment of learning, they come out at high flyers, you understand? Even children that went to community schools, secondary schools, primary schools, they are doing well “

“There are discordant tunes , education is not the way it used to be again around ” Nwabiola added .

The former Permanent secretary called on the goverment to create conducive environment that will enhance quality education.

Recall that the federal government allocated a capital expenditure of N48b for the Federal Ministry of Education in the 2020 budget .

The goverment also allocated the sum of N112 b for the Universal Basic Education Commission,UBEC.

Ime Njoku

 

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