By Olasunkanmi Akoni
Senator Gbenga Ashafa, representing Lagos East Senatorial District has expressed support by concerned Nigerians for the need to declare State of Emergency in the education sector in the country.
President Buhammadu Buhari, had a day earlier, hosted the Federal Executive Council to the Presidential Summit on Education organized by the Minister of Education Alhaji Adamu Adamu, where Buhari decried the rot being experienced in the Nigerian educational sector.
Ashafa made the remarks yesterday, at the Convergence Summit, held at the NAF Conference Centre, Abuja.
The senator said, “I am happy that the Minister is present at this event because he is very vital in achieving the theme of this event, which is “Driving a new public education initiative for Nigeria.” It goes without saying that the state of public education in Nigeria is very poor and crying for help. From the primary to the tertiary institutions, public education in Nigeria is failing.”
Ashafa who enumerated some statistics to buttress his point, stressed “Permit me to draw some inferences quickly. According to the Central Intelligence Agency’s world fact book, the literacy level in Nigeria is just about 59 per cent, this is not too far from the UNESCO’s submission that about 65 million Nigerians are illiterate.
“It is also important to note that by 2050, Nigeria would be the third most populous country in the world. Beyond the ratio of population to literacy, is also the issue of quality of education being received. In Kaduna State recently, a competence test conducted for all teachers in the state revealed that 75 per cent of the teachers failed. Never mind that this test was based on curriculum for Primary Four”
While acknowledging the effort of the President Buhari led administration in the education sector by revamping the curricular, Ashafa noted “If this dangerous trend continues at this rate Nigeria will be looking at a very huge population of illiterates/under literates by year 2050.”
He therefore, called on the Minister of Education to declare a state of Emergency in the Nigeria Education Sector.
According to him, “I join other well meaning Nigerians to call on the Minister to declare a State of Emergency in the Nigerian education sector. The effect of this might not be popular at first, however, this is the bold, proper and conscientious thing to do. We must do right by the judgment of posterity and the future of our common wealth”.
He canvassed for the need for Nigeria to adopt contemporary training, teaching methods and instruments being used in the more developed countries to educate the minds of their people. To adopt an experimental approach to teaching and learning as this will allow the students learn better and the teachers impart knowledge more easily.