Stakeholders in the tertiary institutions have called for an education conference where stakeholders will agree on the best template to be used to move the country’s education sector forward.
Speaking on the state of education as Nigeria celebrates the 61st anniversary of Independence Day on October 1, 2021, chairman, Academic Staff Union of Universities, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Dr Adeola Egbedokun, said the Nigerian education system had been plagued by challenges of infrastructure, inadequate funding, bad leadership and lack of governmental focus.
He said, “In 2013, ASUU organised an education summit but unfortunately the outcome of that effort did not go as deep as needed. It’s time to call for an education confab that will bring stakeholders together to actually agree on a template that will let this nation move in the path of greatness. It is time to plan for the future and clearly build it. We need to realise that the education put in place today is what will salvage our children’s children. We profess a green white green flag, yet our national budget is dependent on crude oil, what an irony. What exactly are the core values that we believe in, that is what our educational fabric should be lined around at all levels.
“Issues like the language of communication in schools, proper identification of native ingenuities and understanding them beyond mysticism, gradual and eventual abolishment of the quota system, and identification of the system that best suits us as a nation are some of the cardinal things that are needed at this point in our history.
“Classes have been destroyed, laboratories are shadows of what they should be, libraries are filled with outdated books, all because of neglect and lack of funding. Lecturers and students rely on self-help and personal efforts.”
The former chairman of, Association of Vice-Chancellors of Nigerian Universities, Prof. Timothy Olagbemiro, encouraged the Nigerian government to focus on educational policies, funding and entrepreneurial strategies that would impact the overall wellbeing of the Nigerian family and their children.
“There should be more focus on public interest topics about sustainable Federal and State governments’ educational policies, funding and entrepreneurial strategies, that will impact the overall wellbeing of the Nigerian family, their children and wards,” he advised.
National President, Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, Mr. Anderson Ezeibe, said the education system had not progressed beyond escalation in the numbers of education institutions across the nation.
“The real impact of the sector is yet to be felt by the nation as poor infrastructure, obsolete curricula, and poor motivation of teachers have all contributed in derailing the sector.
“The number of Nigerians on education tourism in not only the western world but also in less endowed African countries lays credence to this position.
“Governments across all levels should endeavour to fund the sector adequately to reverse the huge infrastructure deficit and, ensure adequate supervision and regulation of the institutions to position them for national relevance and global competitiveness, and adequately motivate the staff,” he said.