BusinessDay

Buhari challenged to drive education with right policy, funding

President Muhammadu Buhari has been challenged to deploy the right policy and adequate funding to arrest declining education standard in Nigeria.

Lizzy Ohaka, the proprietress of Redwood Academy made this call during the school’s independence celebration for students and parents, in Lagos.

Ohaka said the five percent budget allocation to education in 2021 was a far cry given the importance of the education to any nation.

About 5.5 percent amounting to N742.5 billion was allocated to the education sector by the Federal Government of the total N13.08 trillion 2021 national budget.

However, President Buhari has pledged to raise allocation to the sector by 50 percent over the next two years.

“Our leaders only pay lip service to the growth and development of the education sector. Even when all indices indicate more needs to be done and urgently in the sector”, she said.

In the same vein, Gloria Odutola decried the state of things in the education sector, a situation where little or no attention is given to the sector.

“The greatest weapon you can use to change the situation in the country is education”. To bring about the change we so desire in Nigeria, let us support the education sector. Knowledge is power and with power, we can achieve anything. Let us give every child the best legacy which is education”, she stated.

Read also: Fixing education sector challenges for increased productivity

According to Oluchi Ojei, a professional teacher, education is a social service that needs massive funding, and the allocation for education by the federal government reflects the value the government has for education.

Education, she noted, is the bedrock of a nation’s development and sustainability hence should be given adequate attention.

“Countries of the world that are developed and are doing well have great value for education which increases productivity rate. President Buhari’s government should do better than 5 percent”, she said.

Babatunde Ibidapo, a teacher could not come to terms with why Nigerian leaders are toying with the education of their citizens.

“Destroying any country does not require the use of nuclear weapons or long-range missiles. It only requires lowering the quality of education and allowing people to acquire certificates the wrong way. This is worse than Boko Haram and banditry”, he said.

From the mid-1980s, the quality of education in Nigeria has become a source of worry to both professionals and social analysts as the standard is believed to be on the decline. The easiest way to measure this is the performance of students in public examinations such as NECO, WAEC, and JAMB which has been nose-diving in recent years.

Since 1999 when the present democratic dispensation started, Nigeria’s budgetary allocation to education has hovered between 5 and 10 percent, representing one of the lowest in Sub- Sahara Africa.

On Tuesday, September 21, the House of Representatives called on the Federal Government to allocate more funds to the education sector in the subsequent budgets.

The lower chamber decried the falling standard of education in Nigeria, noting that adequate funding could go a long way in turning the situation around for good.

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