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Transforming educational system for society

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By Mercy Kelani

Desired goals have not been attained, despite a lot of interventions.

Tahir Mamman, the Minister of Education, said that the government was working on resetting the educational system at the primary and tertiary levels in order to meet the demand of the society. He stated that there has been a gap, over the years, between what was taught in schools and what the economy or industry required to meet societal demands. This statement was stated at the National Stakeholders Workshop on the Development of a Roadmap for the Nigerian Education System 2024-2027, by Professor Mamman, in Abuja.

He stated that the high unemployment rate that is currently being experienced in the country was caused by the lack of synergy between the industry and the education system. Over the years, desired goals have not been attained despite a lot of interventions. He announced that there were interventions in Nigerian educational sectors through commissions, for a very long time, yet the situation has not changed. Professor Mamman added that there are unemployed youths in the society despite the fact that they are graduates. The situation is as it is because there is no connection between the society or economy and the education system.

Industries complained about inexperienced and unemployable graduates.

The minister stated that the workshop was put together for implementable and practical solutions. He identified the problem and stated that it must be addressed. According to him, bridging the gap between the vision, the actual happening on the ground and the mission was always the problem. The ignorance of the citizens not identifying the policies on ground is a problem despite the fact that there are practicable policies on paper. He said that the citizens have refused to recognize the problems that were addressed.

Children are no longer being sent to school because the people see no value in education. This is because many parents have about 4 or 5 graduates who are unemployed, and has discouraged the parents’ reasoning on the value of education. These views were caused by the disconnection between the industry and education. Thus, the quality of education does not link students to the industry. Industries also complained about the inexperienced and unemployable graduates that are released to the society. He said that the situation should not progress like this.

Schools should be known as fields of applied knowledge.

Moreover, he said that there must be a development of a guide implementation which would guide the people towards having a framework and clear task, which will serve as an instruction to guide the citizens during the tenure of the current government. This guide implementation will be in conformity with the policy of the Nigerian President. He said that schools should be known as fields of applied knowledge. He announced that the committee was sped up on the mandate given to them to ensure that there is more time for implementation.

Nevertheless, the state government was called on by Professor Mamman to collaborate with the Federal government, to work together to achieve the planned objectives, as basic education is controlled by the States. Honourable Abubakar Fulata, the House Committee Chairman on University Education, moved a motion of increment in teachers’ salaries. He called for 1,000,000 naira to be paid for University lecturers, N500,000 for secondary teachers and N250,000 for the basic or primary school teachers on a monthly basis. Also, he advocated that in teaching and learning in schools, indigenous languages should be used instead of English Language as it is done in China, France and Russia.

Gov’t needs to take responsibility for challenges in the sector.

Furthermore, he advocated for a 25% budget allocation to the sector and a state of emergency to be announced in the education sector, stating that the roadmap would be put into consideration during the initiation of laws at the National Assembly. Dilip Parajuli of the World Bank, on behalf of the Development Partners, implored the committee in charge of the roadmap to think on the skills acquisition which would be part of the courses of students, compulsory, to be learned as they enter labour market. Hadiza Bala, the Special Adviser to President Bola Tinubu on Policy Coordination, said that in the aspect of funding, the government needs to take responsibility for the difficulties facing the educational sector.

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