Education Sector : The Way Forward #opesays

Published:30 Nov, 2012

 

                                      THE BUDGET

President Goodluck Jonathan in October presented a N4.9trn budget proposal to the National Assembly for the 2013 fiscal year. Education, Defence and Police were allocated the highest share of N1.095trn. A breakdown of the N1.095trn shows the Education sector getting N426.53bn. Rejoice not, for this is not good news. At N426.53bn, the allocation for education is only about 8.7 % of the entire budget, less than the 13.6% allocated to security. In the 2012 fiscal year N400.15 billion was allocated for education, a meagre 8.43 % of the entire budget. This is the real news: Out of this, N345.091bn (82%) was allotted to recurrent expenditure, N317.896bn was proposed for personnel cost, N27.192bn was for overheads, while a meagre N55.056bn (18%) was for capital expenditure and Federal allocation. What this means is that only a meagre N55.056bn will actually be put to work to improve the sector and this is only if that money comes out ‘unscathed’ from the traps embezzlement and corruption that pervades the system. Another pertinent question to ask is if the amount will be released fully and the implementation carried out without a hitch.

A look at the World Bank report below, of the annual budgetary allocation to education by some countries is saddening. Nigeria ranks last at 8.4% and Ghana ranks highest at 31.0%. This is from a country that prides herself on being the Giant of Africa. Several smaller African countries are allocating more to their educational sectors, than Nigeria, the second largest and the most populated country in Africa. A minimum budgetary allocation of 26% was recommended by UNESCO and Nigeria lags behind, averaging a meagre 9%. This shows how seriously the government takes education.

 

 

Grants and foreign aids have not also alleviated the plethora of issues battling the education sector. The Nigerian government has not put in place appropriate policy measures that would monitor the maximum and effective utilization of foreign aids. The United States has supplied Nigeria with foreign aid for years, with little to show for the effort. Foreign aid mostly goes into the hands of corrupt bureaucrats who just end up siphoning the money away into their own pockets.

WHAT’S WRONG?

This neglect has led to several problems in our education sector:

 

  1. Basic infrastructures and resources – dilapidated school buildings and grossly inadequate facilities, resulting in poor learning environment; ii). poor quality and insufficient number of teaching staff at all levels; iii) inconsistent and ill-conceived policies and slothfulness in following through approved education policies

  2. Insufficient funding and a penchant for misusing approved funding.

  3. Poor remuneration for teachers, which triggers a lackadaisical attitude to work.

  4. High dropout rate. Data from the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) in 2010 shows that 31.2 million students dropped out of school and may never return.

  5. The rate of creation of new universities without adequate provision and long term planning. At the last count, we had 117 universities, fifteen of them created in 2011.

  6. The end result is poor quality of teaching, and research, producing half-baked graduates with worthless certificates. The ease of production of graduates with PhD degrees, a requirement for teaching in Nigeria universities is another worrisome trend.

  7. Nigerian schools tend to emphasize the learning of theories to the detriment of technical knowledge, vocational know-how and entrepreneurial skills.

  8. No new materials, content and methods of teaching. The same research and syllabi from years back are what we are still using till date. The world is moving ahead with mobile and e-learning methods that make learning flexible, fun and time and cost-effective. A course I’m taking in Stanford University’s Venture Lab Initiative, Designing New Learning Environments, made we weep for our educational system. It showed that we need a paradigm shift and serious reforms in the system.

  9. Our public school system, which used to serve as the great leveler, now reeks of failure. It is no longer uncommon to see pupils taking lessons under trees in several states.
  10. Does Nigeria possess the necessary elements to develop a national innovation system? The facts are not encouraging. In fact, there are no incentives in place to innovate. According to Task Force, Nigeria’s number of scientific publications for 1995 was 711 – significantly less than its output of 1,062 scientific publications in 1981. In contrast, scientific publications were 3,413 for South Africa, 14,883 for India, and 5,440 for Brazil.
  11. Our educational system is still rooted in the ideals of the Industrial Age, while the world has long moved forward to the Technological Age. We cannot continue to equip our future leaders for global domination with rotten tools from the past.

    WHAT CAN BE DONE

    Human capital theory emphasizes education as enhancing the productive capacities of individuals. Education remains the bedrock for the development of any nation. In fact, education is the driving force behind the socioeconomic advancement of nations. When people are taught right, they think right, act right and they can bring about change. We need to raise global products locally that can compete with their counterparts all over the world.

    • We would need time to look at how the budget to the sector should be allocated, where it should be channeled, the implementation, and how it should be managed. The allocation will help to improve education in all areas in terms of infrastructure and welfare of teachers and workers in the sector.

    • A policy review and new initiatives are needed towards repositioning the sector for optimal performance.

    • Speedy implementation of education sector reforms

    • Bureaucracy, due to over centralization may be stifling the development of the education sector. This is why the participation of individuals and communities is required.

    • Annual training and retraining of teachers to meet the challenges of teaching in 21stcentury schools.

    • The curriculum at most of the institutions are not robust and dynamic enough to meet the changing needs of our world. The curriculum calls for drastic review so that it can be more suited to the realities of today’s world. Introduction of vocational, enterprise and technical training will improve the overall quality of education.

    WHAT NOW?

    How can we as citizens actively engage in the system and contribute our own quota?

    • We can form budget coalitions to strategize, discuss ideas, demand accountability and engage with the National Assembly.

    • We can volunteer to contribute skills and transfer our wealth of knowledge to students. We can do this by volunteering our services for seminars and workshops.

    Opemipo Adebanjo

           @opesays on Twitter

#opesays is a column published every Friday on this website

 

  • http://kikiowoileowo.wordpress.com @ileowo4ever

    Ope, God bless you.

    We keep screaming these things day and night but the stake holders seems to be deaf to our cries. What we can do as citizens is limited.

    The government needs to prioritize education and shift it spending focus to this critical sector.

    It grieves my heart to see the rot in our education sector, it we don’t priotize it, we are setting ourselves up for destruction

  • http://www.ike-amadi.com @ikeamadi

    Very technical article. Well done.

Related Posts

Recent Posts

Adamawa State To Generate N1.5bn IGR – Gov. Jibrilla

The Adamawa Government is to boost its treasury with N1.5 billion Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) in the next six months. Gov. Muhammadu Jibrilla disclosed this on Tuesday at the signing ceremony of the state’s 2016 budget at Government House, Yola. Jibrilla said that the improvement in the IGR would address the issue of non-payment of salaries to workers in the state. The governor, who did not mention the current IGR amount, said that his administration met a poor IGR caused by the...

772,224 Displaced Children Live In IDP Camps – UNICEF

No fewer than 772,224 children registered by National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) are living at the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps in the northeast. Mr Olusoji Adeniyi, UNICEE Emergency Specialist, disclosed this on Tuesday at a workshop on emergency preparedness organized by the fund for stakeholders in Kaduna. ``Out of the number, 50 per cent of the children have no family tracing, which was causing more concern on child protection.'' Adeniyi said some of the children were traumatized and required psycho-social attention...

Nigeria To Begin Production Of Cement For Road Construction – Onu

Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, Minister of Science and Technology says research is ongoing to produce cement for road construction in the country. Onu disclosed at the Forum of News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Monday. According to him, production of indigenous cement for road becomes necessary due to the way some asphalt built roads get damaged, causing hardship to road users. ``We've asked Nigerian Building and Road Research Institute (NIBRRI), to commence research in concrete because we have seen that using...

Violence Claims 4 In Niger As Security Agencies Restore Peace

The 31 Artillery Brigade of the Nigeria Army, Minna, on Tuesday said the religious violence, which claimed four lives in Rafi Local Government Area of Niger on Sunday, had been brought under control. Major Njideka Agwu, the Assistant Director, Army Public Relations Officer (APRO), who made this known to newsmen in Minna, said the army, police and the NSCDC had restored peace in the area. She said one Methodus Emmanuel, a 24-year-old trader based in Padongari, was killed on Sunday by...

I Never Promised To Refund N5m To EFCC – Madaki

The outgoing Chairman of the People's Democratic Party (PDP) in Adamawa, Mr Joel Madaki, on Tuesday denied media reports that he promised to refund N5 million to the EFCC. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Madaki's name was among those listed to have received money from former Petroleum Minister, Diezani Allison-Madueke for the 2015 Presidential Campaign. Madaki in a statement issued in Yola said he never made such promise to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). "I never promised...

Ondo Workers Begin Indefinite Strike June 1

Civil Servants in Ondo State are to begin an indefinite strike action on Wednesday, June 1, to protest non payment of over five months salary. The strike notice is contained in a communiqué issued in Akure by the state Chairmen and Secretaries of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Joint Negotiating Council (JNC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC). It said that the decision followed an emergency meeting of the labour unions which reviewed the failure of the state government to pay the...

FG Earmarks N600m To Boost Irrigation, Farming In Katsina

The Federal Government has earmarked about N600 million in 2016 budget to boost water supply and irrigation farming at Zobe Dam in Katsina State. Kurfi, a member of House of Representatives from Dutsin-ma/Kurfi Federal Consistency, stated this during an interview with newsmen to mark the All Progressives Congress' (APC) one year in office in Katsina. Kurfi said contract for the supply of water from the Zobe Dam to communities of Dutsin – ma and Kurfi would soon be awarded. The lawmaker said...

FG, World Bank Collaborating To Review Nigeria’s Privatised Mining Enterprises – Fayemi

The Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr Kayode Fayemi, says the World Bank is working closely with the Federal Government to review the country’s privatised mining enterprises. Fayemi, who made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, said the collaboration was with a view to making the privatised enterprises functional. He said the bank would also help Nigeria exploit its minerals to achieve its planned diversification of the economy.   ``We are also working with them...

Hearing In Saraki’s Appeal Against CCT Stalls At Court Of Appeal

Hearing in an appeal by the President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, on the jurisdiction of Code of Conduct Tribunal to try him was stalled at the Court of Appeal, Abuja, on Tuesday. The matter could not proceed because of the inability of the justices of the court to form a quorum. The Presiding Judge, Justice Moor Adumien, who led two pther justices, said it was impossible for the court to sit on the matter with only three justices. ``The court...

Ejigbo Sodomy: Prosecution Closes Case June 16

An Ikeja High Court, on Tuesday, fixed June 16 for the prosecution to close its case in the ongoing trial of 10 people, who were charged with sodomy and assault. They had allegedly committed the crimes against two women and a minor at Oba Morufu Market, Ejigbo. The prosecution, led by Mrs Idowu Alakija, the state Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), told the court that the prosecution was closing its case with only one witness to give evidence. ``My lord, we are...

Institute Raises Alarm Over New Maize Disease

With Nigerians still grappling with high price of food stuffs, the Institute of Agricultural Research and Training, IAR&T, Moor Plantation, Ibadan, has raised an alarm of looming acute scarcity of maize in the South-West sub-region of the country due to the discovery of a new maize disease ravaging maize on the field in the area. The institute which is the zonal coordinating research institute for maize in the South-West in a statement issued in Ibadan yesterday...

Preaching Laws To Be Enforced In Plateau State

Plateau State Governor Simon Lalong has indicated that his administration will enforce the laws regulating religious preaching to guard against hate speech and to stave off religious crises. “Here, we are keeping to the old law regulating religious activities,” the governor said when he met with newsmen at a parley organised to mark his one year in office. “Whether you like it or not, we must implement some of the rules,” he added. 

Abacha, Abiola Were Killed By Same ‘Forces’- Al-Mustapha

Former chief security officer (CSO) to the late head of state, Major Hamza Al-Mustapha, yesterday defended his late boss, General Sani Abacha, insisting that the late head of state did not loot the nation’s treasury as being reported. He also described President Muhammadu Buhari as an honest and dedicated person who deeply loved the country. Speaking with the media in Lagos yesterday, Al-Mustapha said that most of the funds recovered in different parts of the...

UK Detectives In Nigeria For Diezani’s Case

As part of the ongoing probe and preparation for the arraignment of a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, some investigators from the United Kingdom have visited Nigeria to gather evidence. The ex-minister is under investigation over the missing $20billion oil cash, phoney crude oil lifting contracts,  $115million poll bribery money, the $1.092b Malabu oil deal and the N5.2billion ($25m)  oil cash paid by an Indian oil firm for an oil block The...

IGP Orders Disarmament Of Biafran Protesters

The Inspector General of Police Mr ?Solomon Arase has ordered the immediate disarmament of members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). Arase’s order followed the killing some police officers in Asaba, Delta state, by a mob of Biafra campaigners on Monday. He gave the order to the heads of the police formations in the southeast, saying that IPOB had crossed the line. “Following the manifestation of the disposition of the armed Independent People...

Buhari Appeals To National Assembly To Pass Money Laundering, NDDC, FCT, Other Bills

President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday night appealed to the National Assembly to, as a matter of urgency, consider and pass five bills presently before it. He made the appeal while speaking at a dinner he hosted in honour of National Assembly members at the old Banquet Hall of the State House, Abuja. ? He listed the bills to include the Federal Capital...

Military Never Arrested Our Strike Team- Avengers

New militant group responsible for the bombing of oil facilities in the Niger Delta region, the Niger Delta Avengers, NDA, on Tuesday, said claims by the Nigerian Military that no fewer than 10 of its suspected members were arrested on Sunday, was false. The Commander, 4 Brigade, Nigerian Army, Benin City, Farouk Yahaya, while addressing journalists had said that the the Nigerian Army arrested 10 suspected militants and pipeline vandals in the Niger Delta region, on...

Buhari To Visit Niger Delta Thursday

President Muhammadu Buhari is scheduled to visit restive Niger Delta region, recently rocked by series of attacks on oil facilities with the Niger Delta Avengers claiming responsibilities. The visit will be Buhari’s first to the South-South region since becoming the president on May 29, 2015. He was scheduled to visit Cross Rivers but the trip was cancelled. A media aide to Buhari said the president would travel to Ogoniland in Rivers state to flag off...

Why Protesting MASSOB, IPOB Members Were Killed- Nigerian Army

The Nigerian Army said its troops, alongside other security agencies, acted in self-defence as well as in defence of lives and property of peace-loving Nigerians when it shot dead at least five members of the Movement for the Actualisation of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) and Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) on Monday. The pro-Biafra activists were killed as they marched to commemorate the 49th anniversary of the declaration of the defunct Biafra Republic by late...

DSS Stopped Me From Greeting Buhari- Murray-Bruce

Senator Ben Murray-Bruce has accused operatives of the Department of State Security of preventing him from getting close to President Muhammadu Buhari during a dinner at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on Monday. The Senator has been criticized for taking to the social media to criticize the government rather than opting for diplomatic channels. However, when he approached the President at the dinner, he met a brick wall in the DSS. https://twitter.com/benmurraybruce/status/737399594036776960?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

President Buhari Approves High Level Commission on Ease of Doing Business

*MANUFACTURERS CONDEMN "SABOTAGE" ATTACK ON OIL INSTALLATIONS AT INAUGURAL QUARTERLY CONSULTATIOM IN ASO ROCK Federal Government has again emphasized the need for ease of doing business in the country just as President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the formation of a Presidential Commission on the matter, according to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN. “President Muhammadu Buhari has approved a high-powered commission to work on the issues around the ease of doing business in the country," the Vice President announced while...