The Minister of Education, Prof. Tahir Mamman, has expressed the commitment of President Bola Tinubu to improve budgetary allocation for the education sector to 25 per cent.
The minister stated this while declaring the 2021 and 2022 Nigeria Annual Education Conference (NAEC) open in Abuja on Monday, with the theme: “Implementation of Education 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Nigeria.”
Mamman pointed out the critical role of policies in developing the sector and pledged his commitment to bridge the gap between education policy statements and its actualisation outcomes.
He noted that the country had a lot of good policies on what was required to do in the best interest of the nation but that those policies were not bringing value to the sector.
”President Tinubu has directed the return of the 10.5million out-of-school children to school at the expiration of his tenure. We still have a long way to go. We are not matching the children in the country with the desired education and this is because our policies are not producing the values we need.
“What we need is the action on ground and not the policy declaration. This is where I can tell you we intend to come in. We want to bridge the gap between policy statements and actualisation of outcomes,” the minister said.
While noting that the responsibility of government was to provide opportunities for Nigerians to be empowered, Mamman said it was now time to make the policies reality.
He also said that the basic and secondary schools must be equipped by developing appropriate skills template for creativity and research.
“We know that society that had benefitted from education are known for nurturing of creativity and research which starts from the lower levels,” he said.
He said there was need for implementation strategies to provide mechanisms for constant monitoring and evaluation of policies, to ensure the SDG goals were achieved.
The minister expressed concern over the state of insecurity in the schools and nation at large, lamenting the recent killing of one Miss Deborah Atanda, a nursing student of Federal University, Oye-Ekiti few days ago.
He, however, directed the Vice-Chancellor of the institution, to in concerted efforts with the security, uncover the perpetrators.
He charged stakeholders to work with the Federal Ministry of Education and agencies as well as State Ministries of education to identify innovative approaches for improved funding and ensuring inclusive equitable, quality education and life-long opportunities.
Meanwhile, the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Education, David Adejo explained that the 2021 and 2022 edition of the conference could not hold because of COVID-19 recovery which informed its delay till now.
Adejo, represented by the Director, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the ministry, Abubakar Isah, charged stakeholders to deliberate on ways of collaborating and partnership towards actualising the 2030 education agenda.
Also, the Education Adviser, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), James O’Donoghue, pledged UK’s commitment to support Nigeria in actualising the 2030 SDG agenda and to ensure every child receive quality education.
O’Donoghue called on the Nigerian government to ensure increased funding for education while also that the money was utilise for the overall education purpose.