By Elizabeth Uwandu
Finland Ambassador to Nigeria, Dr Jyrki Pulkkinen has called on the federal government to invest more on human capital, provide funding for the education sector.
This is as Pulkkinen noted at the ongoing 11th edition of Total School Support Seminar/Exhibition, TOSSE, in Lagos, themed, “Future of education in Africa,” that four things, which included: accessibility, quality of education; relevance and the teachers are needed to ensure the development of education of any nation.
Calling on Nigeria to improve the education sector, the Ambassador explained, “I think the four points are crucial lessons. They should focus on teachers training. So, how you can train up the teachers for the future is one thing you could actually look out for. It is totally different from United Kingdom, UK and in many other countries, educators follow the curriculum. That is how we think education can be developed. So, who is developing the curriculum? So, it is the teacher who is the master of curriculum and the keeper. Education is basically depending on the level of education of the teachers.
“Again, investment in human capital is another point. As the education system has been neglected for four years.”
So without resources, no education. More money, more human resources to education.” He said.
Speaking on the importance of TOSSE, the convener, Dr Yinka Ogunde said,” Our desire is to be the rallying point for everything about education in Africa. To be a platform for key stakeholders concerned about the sector to meet and deliberate on issues.
“However, the question is how can we use education to build a new generation of Africans? If we are to do this effectively, what would be the key drivers?
“Improvement in the quality of our teachers; better manages private and public educational institutions; and the integration of technology,” Ogunde noted.
She also called on the government to take proactive steps to improve our education sector. “ We expect the government to these: ensure continuous training for education professor. This will enable everyone keep up with a fast changing world; seek creative ways of solving the problems within the sector; don’t politicize the educational sector. Let us ensure we put competent people in charge of the Ministry; among others. “
For the keynote speaker, Prof. Bankole Sodipo, Professor of Law, Babcock University, an increase of education budget; constitutional amendment that will make education a right; and the involvement of alumni associations were basic things needed to restructure the sector.
Director General, Office of Education Quality Assurance, Mrs Ronke Soyombo who praised TOSSE for improving the learning experience among teachers noted that teachers’ education and empowerment that aligned with global happenings cannot be overemphasized in the development of education in Nigeria.