• Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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Nigerians speak on what Mamman must do to revamp education

Delta State University asks students to resume classes

Following President Bola Tinubu’s allocation of portfolios to the successfully screened candidates for ministerial offices in the African largest economy, Nigerians have expressed their expectations of Tahir Mamman, the minister of education as he assumes office.

Recently, Mamman, a legal luminary and the immediate vice-chancellor of Baze University, Abuja was given the nod by President Tinubu to lead the education ministry, one of the key critical sectors of the country’s economy.

At the fore of the new development, many Nigerians have called on the Adamawa State-born educationist to be prepared to revamp education by ensuring a total overhauling of the sector.

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Elizabeth Ohaka, an early childhood educationist called on the new minister to embrace total overhauling of the sector in areas such as increased funding, improved infrastructure, and effective monitoring, among others in order to move the country forward.

“Unless the minister does a total overhauling of the sector, which will include increased funding, improved infrastructure, effective monitoring, support for private practitioners; removal of double taxation, grants to low fee-paying schools, training, and re-training of not only teachers in public schools but their counterparts in the private sector, nothing will change,” she said.

Similarly, Boye Ogundele, an educationist wants the new minister of education to change the narrative where the country makes the English Language compulsory, and Agricultural Science optional.

“It’s a case of old wine in the new skin. Nigeria’s case in any sector is no longer predictable. We are too much of words than action.

A Nation that makes the English Language compulsory and made Agricultural Science optional will plague her citizens with hunger and starvation,” he said.

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Bamidele Okuwoga, a legal practitioner wants the new education minister to engage all academic staff unions in constructive dialogue with a view to stopping strikes as a means of expressing grievances.

Besides, he said the minister should grant full autonomy to public universities and other tertiary institutions, and ensure that the students’ loans scheme is properly and effectively managed.

“The minister should scrap ‘federal character’ in federal schools, and ensure full implementation of the universal basic education policy without discrimination throughout the country.

Make primary and secondary education free and compulsory; this will help eradicate illiteracy, especially in the northern part of the country,” he noted.

Stanley Alaubi, senior lecturer at the University of Port Harcourt wants the new minister to work assiduously to ensure that all stakeholders in the education sector have a new lease of life.

“Our hopes are high and we want a new lease of life in the education sector both morally and financially,” he said.

Friday Erhabor, director of media and strategy at Marklenez Limited wants the minister to first of all settle all outstanding issues with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), and other trade unions in tertiary institutions so that the education calendar will be stable and uniform.

However, Adepoju Tejumaiye, head of the mass communication department of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) is optimistic that the appointment of Mamman as the minister of education will bring the needed transformation in the sector.

“I’m happy that the person chosen as the minister of education is a professor, he has been in the academia for decades, so he knows what the problems are.

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He should be able to tackle what the problems are, but you know, we Nigerians, the way we do things when you are outside, you think differently when you are inside, you think the other way. Let us just be hopeful that things will be done the right way,” he said.

In the same vein, Ifeanyi Abada, the ASUU chapter chairman, and senior lecturer at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) insists there are reasons for Nigerians to be hopeful provided the new minister of education would listen to experts and technocrats in the sector.

“Let’s see what happens, we give him that benefit of the doubt to see what happens.

He may be able to do something if he understands how to rely on people who are good in that sector, but the problem with Nigerians is pomposity which does not allow leaders to consult experts in the field,” he said.