The former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission and Pro-Chancellor of the Plateau State University, Professor Attahiru Jega, has identified the lack of focus of Nigerian leaders as a major setback to the education sector.
Professor Jega made the observation on Monday at the ongoing 2016 Nigeria Higher Education Summit in Abuja which is aimed at building an effective platform for the revitalisation of the Nigerian education system.
He believes that identifying the challenges facing the sector is a first step in the right direction in boosting the education system in Nigeria.
“It is very important that we recognise that the major challenge has to do with the crisis of leadership and the abnegation of responsibility and misplacement of priorities.
“But it is not sufficient to identify and apportion blames, but we need to continue to work, struggle, engage, dialogue and to have summits such as this in order to keep up raising the issues and generating the consensus that is necessary in order to really get those priorities set right,” he told the gathering.
Save Sector From Total Collapse
Other participants at the summit identified education as the bedrock for national development and a very important tool in fostering unity amidst the series of conflicts in different parts of Nigeria.
Participants at the summit were drawn from the diverse spectrum of the education sector including policy makers and vice chancellors of universities.
They are to take a look at the gradual decline in the quality of education in Nigeria and strategise to save the sector from a total collapse.
A higher education consultant Dr. Omano Edigheji said that investing in youths and education was the way forward for Africa as a continent.
“There is now a recognition in the continent that the greatest asset of Africa are its people and in the context of the youth barge, investing in our youths will be a critical driver of national development, building democratic citizenship, nation building, innovation and of transforming the continent from a continent of consumer to producer,” he stressed.
Other participants also believed and very strongly too, that improving public funding for higher institutions and creating avenue for revenue generation will go a long way to enhance their capacity.
The 2016 Nigeria Higher Education Summit has as its theme “Exploiting Diversity, Differentiation and Quality Assurance in Revitalising the Nigerian Higher Education System.