Nigeria seeks collaboration to increase funding for education

Temitope Mustapha, Abuja

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The Nigerian government has called for collaboration and cooperation with stakeholders in the education sector to make conscious efforts in increasing funding for the sector.

The Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu made the call in Abuja while addressing delegates at the 63rd meeting of the National Council of Education held in Abuja.

The Minister said with a population of over 170million, the burden on education has become overwhelming on the three tiers of government.

Adamu added that in achieving the goals of education 2030 Agenda, stakeholders must brainstorm on ways of increasing funding for the sector.

Since the federal government has committed 6.0% of its 2017 budget to education, which is far below the UN benchmark, what is the responsibility of states, Parents and multinational companies in bridging the gap and provide the education sector a much needed life line” he said.

“It is against this backdrop that federal government, states, the FCT, local government councils, development partners ,civil society organisations, labour unions, the media and all stakeholders in education should interface through the National Council on Education to formulate and implement policies required to achieve the Education 2030 Agenda” Adamu added.

Speaking on expansion of access to all levels of education, the minister said the Nigerian government established Community Based Early Childcare Centres in 16 States to enhance transition to the basic education, as well as reduce the incidences of Out Of School Children.

“In this regard, the federal government constructed and renovated 85publuc primary schools across the country to increase the carrying capacity of the schools. A total of 31,520 teachers across 27states were trained to improve their teaching proficiency “the minister added.

On Security and Safety of Educational Institutions, The Minister of Education said the safe school initiative program successfully transferred 2,274 internally displaced children from Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe to 43 Federal government colleges.

In collaboration with UNICEF , the program also registered 200,000 IDP children in double shift school system, recruited 554 teachers, procured and distributed 112 containerised classrooms to the various IDPs in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States ” he said.

Malam Adamu hinted that so far, the Registrar of the Joint Admission and Matriculations Board, Professor Ishaq Oloyede has remitted over 15billion naira to the federal government as revenue.

The Minister noted that the board has upgraded all Computer Based Test Centres to a minimum of 250 carrying capacity and successfully automated all it services.

Teacher Training
On restoration of quality of Nigerian teachers, Malam Adamu identified poor quality entrants and poor quality products from the teacher training institutes as factors affecting education quality negatively.

“The non implementation of 27.5% teachers’ peculiar allowance by some states ,violation of National Council on Education decision on the ban on recruitment of unqualified and unregistered teachers contrary to the provision of Teachers’ Registration Council Nigeria act of 2004,were problems” He added.

He however said the government in its capacity to improve teacher capacity and professional development, 800 graduate teachers were trained in teaching pedagogy and 813 Students graduated with post graduate diploma in education.

The Minister of State for Education, Anthony Anwukah said provision of adequate funding for the achievement of Education 2030 agenda underscores the importance of education.

According to him, “In 2017, N448.0billion was allocated to education representing about 6.0% of the N7.30trillion budget. In 2018, about N369.6billion was appropriated, N492.34billion in 2015, N443billion in 2014 and N426.53billion in 2013; all of still less than adequate for the essential development of education sector”

Commissioners of Education from Kano, Cross Rivers and few other States were present at the council meeting.

Delegates were also drawn from all agencies of education across the Country.

 

The National Council on Education is the highest policy making body and the largest gathering of policy makers and technocrats in the Nigerian education sector.

Nnenna.O