Reacting to the poor funding of the education sector and that Nigeria lags behind neighbouring countries such as Ghana, the National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, wondered when Nigeria would get it right regarding the sector.
The South-West Coordinator of NANS, Kappo Samuel Olawale, who spoke with Vanguard, chastised the government for paying lip service to the sector.
“We keep repeating the same thing. And the way we are going, we may not get it right. Is it not a shame if a country like Ghana is taking education more serious than us. If our education system is not adequately funded and provided for to train the citizens, then how do we make judicious use of the human resource we always tout as an advantage?
” When we cannot produce those who would give the nation the desired future and leadership, what then becomes of the future of the country? The sector must be well funded, the stakeholders motivated too. Our universities, for instance, are overcrowded and there is a lack of basic infrastructure.
“It is the poor funding from the government that has led to these universities offering different and numerous part-time programmes. The intention is to raise money to augment government’s subventions,” he said
Also speaking, the National President of the All Nigeria Conference of Principals of Secondary Schools, ANCOPS, Mr Anselm Izuagie, described the current situation as deplorable.
“The truth is that what you put in is what comes back as the output. We are not doing enough regarding budgetary allocations to the education sector. Education needs more funding than it is getting now and it is pitiable if smaller nations like Ghana are committing more to the sector than us. We are all seeing the results. Nigerians are rushing to the country among others to get tertiary education.
” But how many Nigerians can afford that? Let us even put aside the huge sums we lose to such countries by our people paying for education there, we must also consider the fact that quality education will put such nations ahead of us in the long run. Let us say we cannot meet the 26% of budgetary allocation to the sector as suggested by UNESCO, are we also saying 5 or 6 per cent is what we can do?
“There is nothing stopping us from getting to at least 20 per cent allocation level. Now, the President has attended an international conference where some promises were made, we pray that the promises are fulfilled. If that is done, we will all be better for it,” he stated.