The National Assembly House Committee on Basic Education and Services has blamed the Federal Government’s attitude towards educational sector and for largely ignoring the celebration of International day of Education.
A statement signed by Professor Julius Ihonvbere, Chairman, House Committee on Basic Education and Services and stated that the members were not surprised because as the saying goes ‘the guilty are afraid.’
“From the endless battles with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), dilapidated infrastructure, outdated libraries, very poorly stocked laboratories, crowded hostels and poor facilities in our tertiary institutions, it is clear that as a nation, we are still on the same old, weather-beaten path that has not really produced the kind of graduates that will move Nigeria forward.
“Our secondary schools that feed the tertiary institutions are beautiful and fairly equipped mostly in our capital cities. Beyond this, you find embarrassing infrastructure, scanty staff many not qualified to teach any human being, disillusioned staff, lack of equipment and poor remuneration. No wonder ‘miracle’ examination centers abound every where along with cultists and other forms of dangerous examination malpractices.
“At the primary level, it is a tale of woe mirroring the tertiary level. Children still begging for alms on the streets, dilapidated school buildings, schools with just a handful of teachers, millions of our children out of school, others are not-in-school, many teachers have never updated or upgraded their teaching skills, and ICT-driven teaching methods remain alien to teachers and pupils.
“True, there are a few exceptions in terms of commitment, funding and monitoring. True, the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) continues to dole out billions of naira in matching grants to all states and the FCT to improve basic education. In only few states can we see true and sustainable achievements.
There is therefore an urgent need to ‘change course’ and ‘transform education’ in Nigeria.
“The world is changing. Discourses and narratives are reflecting new challenges and options for survival in an increasingly complex and competitive global divisions of labour and power. Nations don’t wait for each other and assistance only goes to locations where something can be obtained in return. There is a connection between no education, poor education and bad education on the one hand and bad governance, bad leadership, corruption, violence and mismanagement on the other.
“We need to fund education better at all levels, improve on the study environment, inspire and motivate our children, fight malpractices, invest in ICT, secure our schools, liberate those in captivity, reassure parents and encourage teachers to give their very best to our children. Critical stakeholders in education and the private sector must begin to think and act diffently in supporting governments to transform education in our country. As a Committee, we welcome the efforts by UBEC to retool and refocus, the new National Commission for Secondary Education and the Presidential Alternate School Programme as pointers in the new direction.
“The future lies in the quality of education that we provide today. If we have missed the bus, there is no need wailing, let us take another bus to the desired destination.”