The Sun News

Buhari raises alarm over state of education

President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday in Abuja endorsed the ongoing primary school education reforms embarked upon by the Kaduna state government.

The President made this known when he declared open a special retreat of the Federal Executive Council on Education, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

It would be recalled that the administration of Gov. Nasir El Rufa’i came under attacks, recently, especially from the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) over plans by the governor to sack at least 21, 780 primary school teachers, who could not pass a competency test.

The development which did not go down well with the leadership of the NLC prompted a protest on Nov. 8 over what it described as `obnoxious plan’ by the state government to sack the teachers.

However, Buhari while decrying the rot in the sector, said Nigeria could not progress beyond the level and standard of its current educational system.

“To digress a little bit so that you know that I meant what I read.

“Having been an orphan, I still feel that whatever I did in life so far was built by boarding school. For nine years I was in boarding school, three in primary and six in secondary school.

“In those days, teachers treat their students or children like their own children. If you did well they will tell you, you did well, if you don’t do well they never spared the rod.

“When I finished my secondary school, I didn’t work for a day, I refused to work for a day, I left home, I refused to work in the local government, and then I joined the army. And the army of that time we went through all we went through up-to the civil war.

“And then I listened to one of the Nigerians I respect, he said after his training here in Nigeria and the United States, he went to his alma-mater, his primary school to see what he could contribute.

“I won’t mention his name but when he went, he couldn’t differentiate between the students, the children and the teachers.

Buhari’s voice on El Rufai

“And what El-Rufai is trying to do now is exactly what that man told me about 10 years ago. It is a very, very serious situation, when teachers cannot pass their exams that they are supposed to teach the children to pass.

“It is a very tragic situation we are in and this our gathering together to me is one of the most important in this administration.”

Buhari said with the rot in the education sector, drastic measures had become necessary to salvage the situation.

According to him, the state of education in Nigeria calls for a serious concern, saying that stakeholders should not feign ignorance that the quality of education in Nigeria has dropped and would require greater attention and improvement.

He said the All Progressive Congress (APC) which he rode on to become President was committed to all the electoral promises made to revamp the education sector.

He also revealed that current statistics of out of school children stood at 13.2 million up from the 10 million estimated by the United Nations few years back.

“We cannot afford to continue lagging behind. Education is our launch-pad to a more successful, more productive and more prosperous future.

“This administration is committed to revitalising our education system and making it more responsive and globally competitive.”

He commended the Ministry of Education for setting the stage for this national conversation that aimed at refocusing the education sector.

The president expressed the hope that the retreat would not only overcome the numerous challenges facing the nation’s education sector, but also to strengthen the Ministerial Strategic Plan that had already been developed by the ministry.

He said: “The significance of this summit is obvious. We cannot progress beyond the level and standard of our education.

“Today, it is those who acquire the most qualitative education, equipped with requisite skills and training, and empowered with practical knowhow that are leading the rest.

“Education upgrades the living standard of citizens and enables people to become better and more productive citizens. It is a human right that creates a safe, healthy and prosperous society.

“These efforts are justifiable only to the extent that schooling is effective in promoting the realization of national objectives, attaining the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Education For All (EFA) by 2030.

“These targets are, happily, in harmony with the manifesto and the CHANGE agenda of our Party, the All Progressive Congress (APC).’’

Buhari said his administration was determined to turnaround the sector for the better, noting that already the government was making appreciable progress in this respect.

He, therefore, challenged participants of the retreat to come out with strategies that would address the challenges of basic and secondary education, teacher training and professional development; technical and vocational education.

“The summit must work to enhance quality in, and access to, higher education and other challenges in the sector that will debar us from attaining the SDGs and be among the top 20 economies in the world,’’

In his remarks, the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, advocated declaration of state of emergency in education so as to achieve the desired goals in the sector.

He stressed the need to carry the universities and other tertiary institutions along while driving the nation’s national development objectives.

“Mr President, to achieve the desired change that education needs, there is need for improved funding and a measure of political will in national governance,’’ he said.

The Retreat, with the theme; “Education Sector in Nigeria Challenges and Prospects”, has Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, cabinet ministers, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Presidential aides, heads of agencies and parastatals under the Ministry of Education as participants.

(Source: NAN)

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5 Comments

  1. Ezekiel Okeke 13th November 2017 at 7:26 pm

    Any Igbo man or woman who brought any Igbos enemy into Igboland of Biafra, will not have a grave in Igboland of Biafra. Any Igbo man or woman who stand with the enemy against Southern Sovereign States- Biafra Republic of south east, Niger Delta Republic of south south, Oduduwa Republic of south west, will be crushed with the enemy in Southern Territorial Sovereign States. It is Southern Revolution War Engagement in which all southern natives home and abroad are engaged and are involved, in which all northerners in military, police etc. must vacate Southern Territorial Sovereign States now- dead or alive. No southern oil, gas, revenue etc. will again go to the enemy. It is Southern Liberation. It is Southern Freedom. God Is With Us!!!

    • susan 13th November 2017 at 10:06 pm

      Get real my friend biafra is a dead dog and any sign of the terrorist will be crushed.

  2. Ezekiel Okeke 13th November 2017 at 8:26 pm

    Education is, to learn how to make a living, and to learn how to live. Almajiri practice is the worst Human Right violation on earth, number one obstacle to education, productivity, economic development of any society. Southern Sovereign State- Biafra Republic of south east, Niger Delta Republic of south south, Oduduwa Republic of south west, will achieve zero unemployment with job creation education etc. North must disintegrate base on backgrounds of northern natives, abolish the illiterate fallen caliphate, abolish Almajiri practice, abolish under age marriage, to survive in this 21st century world. God Is With Us!!!

  3. Ezekiel Okeke 13th November 2017 at 10:29 pm

    @susan, be ready to crush the southern terrorists, if you have the resources, money, warriors, local and international supports. If the enemy could not stand north east natives, could not face Cameroon, how much more mighty Biafra Republic? And Niger Delta Republic, Oduduwa Republic? We are already in the war. Southern Liberation and Freedom is irreversible, must be defended in Southern Revolution War Engagement. The illiterate fallen caliphate with illiterate military circle of north in the name of nigeria are history. God Is With Us!!!

  4. Peter Okeke 15th November 2017 at 1:41 pm

    It is a good thing that the president is concerned about the deplorable quality of education in the country from the nursery to the university level. Its decay is a symptom of the level of our society’s decadence in all its facets of socio economic and political life. The school environment cannot be better than what obtains in other areas of infrastructures developments like health, power, roads, transport, agriculture, housing and what have you. These are reflections of the performance of the leaders of a country operating dysfunctional system of government that promotes mediocrity, discriminations of their bests, consumptive sharing of resources, indolence, corruption, lack of focus and all that make the country derail for the past 57 years. Why are we surprised at the level of decay of the educational system when the teachers are poorly remunerated. How many graduates of colleges of education want to be teachers? How many graduate actually get jobs after graduation. The government should begin to access their performance from there. How is it that a good percentage of graduates are job seekers and white collar job dependent when you have among them certificated graduates of engineering and other hordes of professional courses. Why is it that these graduates cannot create jobs for themselves and others? This issue goes to the root of the nature of our educational system that is did not provide intense environment for student’s curriculum that encourages entrepreneurship. They are not accessed based on the skills and competency they have acquired at every stage of their programmes but rather scores are awarded based on rote learning with senseless cramming repetitions that have no relevance in the society. Our educational system does not encourage individual development and self expressions and hunger for innovations and excellence in the students.

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