In commemorating World Teacher’s Day which was commemorated last week Friday and International Day of the Girl Child, celebrated yesterday 11th October globally, ActionAid in collaboration with Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) has held a one-day National Dialogue towards improving the rights to quality education for all Nigerians.
The Dialogue which themed “The Rights to Quality Education means the Rights to Quality Teachers” took place in Abuja and had Civil Society Organisations, School Owners, Educators amongst other stakeholders in attendance to discuss issues and challenges militating against the rights of an average Nigerian child to acquiring basic quality education.
According to Ene Obi, Country Director ActionAid Nigeria, “this dialogue is aimed at wholistically assessing the current situation within the education sector in Nigeria so as to identify several gaps needed to be filled in terms of quality of teachers, teacher welfare, education curriculum as well as policy implementation”.
“It has worsened over the years, that we now have several Nigerian students prefer to school abroad due falling standard of education thereby causing “Brain Drain” in the country”.
“There is need for us to stand up and
save our education system to be more attractive to foreign and international students to come and study in Nigeria as well” she remarked.
Ene mentioned that corruption and lack of political will on the part of the policy makers towards effective policy implementation regarding quality education have been the major challenges facing education sector.
“There is need to join forces in the fight against corruption with all our might. Also policy makers need to ensure effective implementation of policies toward achieving quality education”.
“This dialogue is the first level, we are doing everything within our power to bring in and engage the Federal Ministry of Education, Policy Makers, Government officials and representatives at our Second level of the Dialogue” she said.
Mr Aliyu, National Coordinator, Civil Society Action Coalition on Education for All (CSACEFA) who was amongst the panelists at the event stated that the dialogue is timely as it has created
platform for the key stakeholders to rub minds and seek ways to bring in immediate intervention to salvage our education system.
He pointed out that politicisation of education system has been another major hindrance to progress in the sector citing N-Power as one of the examples.
“For education system in Nigeria to transform and work, we must discourage politicisation within the sector as this has led several inadequacies and challenges in the past years” he said.
Another Panelist, Dr Aisha Ibrahim, Lecturer at the Faculty of Education, Usman Dan Fodio University, Sokoto said that Training and Capacity development for the Teachers is very critical towards achieving quality education at levels.
“The idea of depatching NYSC corpers to
teach in both private and public secondary schools needs to be properly looked into. These corpers may be educated but they are not trained as teachers to teach in schools”.
“just imagine, what have they got to offer students when they themselves have not be trained, it is garbage in garbage out” she said.
Ibrahim further added that teaching as a profession must be also projected as one of the noble professions and not be perceived as an “Alternative’ for survival, so as to encourage more young people to study education in the University to become qualified teachers.
Wale Elekolusi, National Coordinator, Journalists Against Poverty (JAP) who was also at event while commenting asked how Nigerian teachers can be prosperous and be self-sufficient through the profession.
Ene Obi gave brilliant answer to that when she disclosed that ActionAid will be working with Nigerian Union of Teachers in collaboration with other CSOs one of which is CSACEFA to see how teachers’ welfare and remuneration can be reviewed in Nigeria.