Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, has said that if conscious attempt must be made to redeem the education sector, states and the Federal Government must begin to commit at least 15 per cent of their yearly budgetary resources to education.
He blamed under-funding of education both at the state and federal levels for the rot which made the sector to remain at its lowest ebb in over five decades.
Adamu said that despite the articulation of several strategic roadmaps by past and present administrations to salvage the sector, issues of high number of out-of-school children, youth and adult literacy, poor teacher education, including data management, and weak curriculum, still dotted the sector, resulting in negative outputs.
The minister spoke at a two-day stakeholders’ workshop on sustainable funding for education, currently taking place at the Old Banquet Hall of the State House, Abuja.He listed high demand for tertiary education skewed in favour of universities, weak governance and regulatory frameworks, disruption of academic calendar due to frequent strike by academic-based unions, among others, as factors also militating against the nation’s under-development.
The minister expressed concern over the burden of parents paying high cost of tuition, canvassing awar• Laments under-funding, high tuition in schools of scholarship by companies, organisations and well-meaning Nigerians to reduce the burden and complement government efforts.
Adamu, represented by former Acting Director, Federal Scholarship Board, Olagunju Lateef, stated this yesterday in Port Harcourt during the award of scholarship to 1,032 secondary, tertiary and international post-graduate students in different schools by the Shell Development Petroleum Company (SPDC).
The minister said government placed high premium on the education sector, and that it is a critical area that is of paramount importance to nation-building.
“Reducing the burden of paying high cost of tuitions has been of great concern to the government of the day. Scholarship award as a form of students support programme cannot be over-emphasised, as it would help to reduce the burden.”
“The Federal Government, under President Muhammadu Buhari, has human capacity development as part of its top priority. This can be testified to by the huge investments in the education sector on various scholarship schemes, either local or international,” he said.
Adamu commended Shell and its partners in complementing the efforts of government in this critical area.
The SPDC Managing Director, Osagie Okunbo, represented by the External Relations General Manager, Igo Weli, said the firm’s gesture was aimed at developing a sound human resource base for the Niger Delta region and Nigeria.
“The awards comprise 532 regular secondary scholarships, 60 cradle to career secondary school scholarships, 430 university scholarships and 10 international post-graduate scholarships.”SPDC-JV education initiative continues to contribute towards the actualisation of the UNESCO education for all goal,” he said.