The federal government has been urged to declare state of emergency on school infrastructure following the failure of state governments’ interest to invest in basic education in their states.
The call was made by Stakeholders in the Education sector at a National Education Summit organised by Human Development Initiatives (HDI) with the theme: Building Qualitative, Inclusive and Adaptive Education System: Meeting Modern Day Education Challenges in Nigeria” on Wednesday in Abuja
They accused governors of abandoning the responsibility, saying, that a good number of states do not appear enthusiastic about funding basic education.
Speaking, Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Basic Education, Professor Julius Ihonvbere, said absence of policy consistency, poor funding and inadequate basic facilities was a major challenge in the sector.
He lamented over state governments’ refusal to access their matching grants from Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) saying, many state government who had collected counterpart funding for education do not use it judiciously.
“There is a problem of absence of policy consistency and even when we have good policies there is very limited follow up and at times poor funding of those programmes so that they would have deep root and consistency and replication within the system. There is weak administrative system in our school.
“We want emergency to be declare on school infrastructure. The children are schooling under very dangerous buildings. Also, people who manage the schools themselves need to be reeducated. There is a need to be a special programmes bring teachers and instructors into the digital age. You cannot teach what you don’t have or know,” he said.
Former Provost of Osun State College of Education, Prof Labayo Kazeem said the nation’s education sector was not lacking in policy but in its policy implementation.
While noting that governors were not willing to provide infrastructure and that t adult education was completely dead in most states, he said “They are more concerns about other things than investing in education. We don’t need a development partners to tell us what to do right.”
“If we must develop as a nation the students must be given opportunity to excel. That is why when we go anywhere in the world we can adapt. Help us tell the governor’s to be serious with our education”, he stated.
In her remarks, Executive Director, HDI, Olufunsho Owasanoye, called for a review in curriculum while stressing the need for teachers to adapt to technological advancements.
“Some states are nothing to write home about, insecurity, low moral for students and teachers, overpopulation and so on. We are in the techy era but some teachers especially the old ones are not really in tune with it. Everybody has to be technology compliant. We need to rebuild education and adapt to the new technology,” Owasanoye said.