The Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu has reaffirmed the ministry’s commitment toward providing an inclusive, equitable and quality education to ensure Nigeria achieves the Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG4).
Adamu, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Mr Sonny Echono said this in Abuja on Thursday at the Launch of the 2017/2018 Global Education Monitoring Report (GEMR).
The theme of the event is: Accountability in Education: Meeting our Commitments.
The programme was organised in collaboration with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).
The Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 4) has 10 targets encompassing many different aspects of education.
They include universal primary and secondary education, early childhood development and universal pre-primary education, gender equality and inclusion among others, all to be achieved by 2030.
The minister said that a 10 year education plan had been developed under the Nigeria-UNESCO partnership to enhance the delivery of quality programmes in the non-informal sector.
Adamu said the ministry had also developed a Ministerial Strategic Plan (MSP) 2016 to 2019 as a roadmap to guide its efforts toward the effective implementation and the achievement of the SDG4 as well as other related education targets in the SDG agenda.
According to him, the plan seeks to bridge the gender gap in enrolment, retention and completion by addressing the problems of girl-child education and meet the challenges of inadequacy of low teacher quality.
“The pillar of the plan is to address the out-of-school children phenomenon, strengthening basic and secondary education, teacher education, capacity building and professional development and adult literacy and special education.
“It also includes education data and planning, curriculum issues, technical and vocational education and training, quality and access in higher education, information and communication technology in education and library services.”
Adamu added that the ministry had offered a total of 222 girls scholarship to study in Nigeria’s tertiary institutions and distribution of 330 laptops to female students in Federal Unity Colleges.
He said this was part of efforts to boost girl-child education and a demonstration of governments’ commitment toward the attainment of the SDG4 in the country.
He therefore called on stakeholders to complement and support Federal Government’s ongoing efforts to attain the desired goal.
Earlier, the Director-General of UNESCO, Ms Audrey Azoulay said the report was made possible to examine different accountability mechanisms used to hold governments, schools, teachers, parents, students civil society and international community accountable.
Azoulay, who was represented by Mr YDO Yao, the Regional Director, UNESCO Abuja Regional Office, called on the government to ensure the right to education was enforceable.
She also called for public awareness of the right to education, legal support from civil society and action to obtain complementary rights protection for people with disabilities and other vulnerable group as key to actualised this dream.
She said the 2017/2018 GEM report concludes with concrete recommendations that would help build stronger education systems.
“The report highlights the responsibility of governments to provide universal quality education and stresses that accountability is indispensable in achieving this goal.
“All of us from governments to teachers, communities and family have a role to play in pushing for change when discrimination arises.”
Azoulay therefore reaffirmed UNESCO’s commitment to Nigeria to the realisation of the SDG4 both at national and local levels.
She also promised to provide technical assistance and support to the government and all stakeholders on the monitoring of SDG4 progress as well as the use of findings for planning and policy making.
Mr Ike Onyechere, the Founder, Exam Ethics Marshall International, stressed the need for proper monitoring of educational sector to cleanse the system from corruption.
He said once corruption in the educational sector was handled and eradicated, corruption in other sector of the economy would be minimised.
He said money meant for educational projects should be utilised adequately for the system to improve.
He, however, called on all stakeholders to join hands to give the sector a phase lift. (NAN)