This Day (Lagos)

21 March 2014

Nigeria: Oshiomhole Proposes Tough Measures to Reform Education

Summit closes as FG raises hope of positive outcomes James Emejo Governor of Edo State, Adams Oshiomhole, Thursday said courage was needed on the part of the leadership in the country, to weed the education sector of 'powerful and vested interests' if the rot in the sector must be addressed.

He said the crisis in the education sector called for difficult decisions by the leadership, in the interest of the Nigerian child and the betterment of the country in general, even if such actions would threaten their re-election.

Oshiomole further argued that the issue of funding of the sector was just a part of the challenge because only little funds get to beneficiary school out of whatever is budgeted.

Speaking in Abuja, during the closing plenary on 'Leadership and Ownership in Nigerian Education' at the 20th Nigerian Economic Summit (NES #20) themed:"Transforming Education through Partnerships for Global Competitiveness," he called for a redress of a paradox where people who are presumably trained to be teachers roam the streets.

He insisted that it would require the country's going back to the basics as well as having a good and committed leadership, which is courageous and good at heart to reverse the current deficit in the sector.

Specifically, he said the quality of education in the country took a noise-dive the moment the country's leadership deteriorated, adding that the fixing of the sector must begin with those in authority.

However, some of the difficult measures proposed for the cleaning up of the system was for the leaderships to flush the education system of illiterate teachers, who lacked the skills to impart the students.

He said part of the problem was the lack of merit in recruiting teachers and issues of tribalism and favouritism.

However, the governors's statement came as the federal government maintained that it was committed to addressing the deficit of education by transforming it to ensure the country takes its rightful place globally. Vice-President Namadi Sambo, while declaring the three-day summit closed, said the time had come "to have our young ones and children developing the spirit of unity and forgetting tribalism"

He noted however, that the task of transforming the education sector was enormous and required all hands to be on deck, reassuring participants that the summit recommendations would receive adequate attention by the Federal Executive Council (FEC).

The Chairman, Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG), Mr. Foluso Philips, said he was confident about the implementation of recommendations by government, while the Minister of National Planning, Mr. Isa Yuguda, described the summit as a huge success.

One of the vital summit recommendations was to give impetus to the Teachers Registration Council to be able to effectively ensure professionalism in the teaching programme as a way of addressing the problem of quality among human resources.

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