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National education data system established – FG

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By Abraham Adekunle

Initiative is part of Tinubu's plan to transform Nigeria's education sector.

President Bola Tinubu has launched a groundbreaking initiative aimed at revolutionizing Nigeria’s education sector and ensuring the academic security of the nation’s youth. The newly established national education data system, known as DOTS-Data-Oriented Transformation System, is set to elevate learning standards, promote skill development, and provide a robust framework for the future of education in Nigeria. In a statement released by Ajuri Ngelale, Special Adviser to the President, the DOTS initiative encompasses several key areas essential for comprehensive educational reform.

These include data repositories, out-of-school children’s education, teacher training and development, and skill development and acquisition across all levels of education. One of the pivotal components of this initiative is the establishment of a robust Data Repository. Nigeria currently faces a challenge due to the lack of coordinated, verifiable, and authentic data concerning its education sector – a gap that severely hampers effective planning and implementation of interventions. To address this, President Tinubu has approved an extensive census encompassing all schools from primary to tertiary levels, along with an assessment of their conditions, facilities, proximity, and educational infrastructure.

Comprehensive data repositories have been launched.

This census extends to evaluating the qualifications, training support, and distribution of teachers across the nation. It also includes a comprehensive data gathering on pupils and students in primary, secondary, and tertiary institutions, focusing on aspects like gender representation, exam performance, and enrollment status. This detailed information is envisioned to guide federal and state-level interventions, particularly in areas such as teacher training, support, and overall educational infrastructure development. To facilitate the dissemination and utilization of this data, dedicated portals and dashboards will be set up within the Federal Ministry of Education, state governor offices, and local government authorities. These platforms will not only host the collected information but also enable real-time monitoring by relevant government bodies, ensuring a data-driven approach to educational policymaking and interventions.

Moreover, the national education data system will play a key role in addressing the challenge of out-of-school children. By using the data insights, the Federal Ministry of Education aims to enhance education and training opportunities for these children, building upon existing efforts that have already benefited approximately two million beneficiaries through various government agencies. In tandem with addressing out-of-school challenges, President Tinubu’s initiative places a strong emphasis on teachers’ development and support. Recognizing the pivotal role of educators in shaping the future, the Federal Ministry of Education will implement programs aimed at equipping teachers with digital skills, enabling them to effectively integrate technology into classroom settings. This strategic investment in teacher training aligns with global trends emphasizing the role of digital literacy in modern education.

Empowering out-of-school children and enhancing teachers’ skills.

Furthermore, the initiative extends its focus to skill development and acquisition across all education levels. President Tinubu has approved the National Skills Framework, a strategic blueprint designed to provide tailored skill development opportunities aligned with each educational level. This framework aims to bridge skill gaps, enhance the quality of education, and address concerns related to unemployment by equipping students with practical skills alongside academic knowledge, thereby empowering them to meet the demands of the evolving global economy. The overarching goal of these programs is to reform Nigeria’s education sector, fostering a holistic approach that interconnects the ‘DOTS’ of data, out-of-school children’s education, teacher development, and skill acquisition.

The initiative not only reflects President Tinubu’s commitment to educational reform but also aligns with broader national agendas aimed at promoting innovation, empowerment, and sustainable development. Expanding the discourse on Nigeria’s education system, one of the persistent challenges in Nigeria’s education system is the issue of access and inclusivity. While efforts have been made to improve enrollment rates, particularly at the primary level, disparities persist, especially in rural and underserved areas. This gap contributes to the prevalence of out-of-school children, a concern that the national education data system seeks to address comprehensively.

Related Article: Challenges facing education in Nigeria

Quality assurance and curriculum relevance are also focal points for educational reform in Nigeria. Ensuring that curriculum frameworks align with global standards while remaining contextually relevant is essential for equipping students with the skills and knowledge needed for success in a competitive global world. As well, teacher quality and capacity remain crucial factors influencing educational outcomes. Investing in continuous professional development, promoting innovative teaching methodologies, and enhancing teacher motivation are areas that require sustained attention and resources.

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