FG Unveils 2016-2019 Strategic Plan For Education

Nigeria, Education, Adamu Adamu,The Federal Government has released a new road map to guide the Ministry of Education to address the myriads of challenges confronting Nigeria’s education sector.

The strategic plan comes as part of efforts to reposition Nigeria’s education sector to play a central role in the Federal Government’s philosophy of change.

The Minister of Education, Mr Adamu Adamu, unveiled a draft of the 2016-2019 Ministerial Strategic Plan on Monday in Abuja, the Federal Capital territory.

Mr Adamu reaffirmed government’s commitment to strengthening institutional structures and creating innovative strategies aimed at revamping the education sector.

He asked Nigerians to team up with the Federal Government to salvage the sector and return it to the path of excellence.

The 2006 to 2015 Education Master Plan launched under the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo was meant to fashion out new policies that would enable the sector emerge from its declining status, especially on issues pertaining to Nigeria’s ‘Education For All’ policy and infrastructural decay occasioned by institutional and legislative constraints.

The expiration of the policy in 2015 gave the need for a new strategic plan.

On his part, the Minister for Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Uguru, attributed the fallen standard of education to the failure of past governments to regulate the teaching profession.

The Director, Department of Educational Planning, Research and Development, Magdalene Anene-Maidoh, also highlighted the focus of the strategic plan.

She expressed hope that the new plan, when adopted and implemented by the experts, would arm Nigerian youths with the skills they require to face the challenges of the 21st century.

Senate Steps Down Bill On Establishment Of Maritime University

Senate-in-NigeriaA bill seeking the establishment of the Maritime University of Nigeria has been stepped down on the floor of the Senate.

The sponsor of the bill, Senator James Manager, had told his colleagues that the establishment of the institution would bridge the manpower gap experienced in the maritime sector for skilled personnel.

“The sector is dominate today by foreign interests. The very few professionals were trained abroad.

“The question is; why do we not have a university for that purpose?

“This bill provides the requisite opportunity and the enactment of this bill will help in transforming the educational fortunes in Nigeria and in producing the desire manpower and expertise now that Nigeria is yearning for local content in the industry following the passage of Local Content Development Act into law,” he stressed.

Another Senator, Paulker Emmanuel, supported the motion.

After debate on the motion with most of the senators asked for an upgrade of the Maritime Academy in Oron, Akwa Ibom State, rather than invest in another institution, Senator Manager asked for time to consult with his colleagues on the matter.

It is over a year since the ground breaking ceremony for the establishment of the Maritime University of Nigeria was performed by former President Goodluck Jonathan but that event was yet to get legislative backing.

It is the need to get the institution fully operational in the next few years that triggered discussions on the floor of the Senate.

World Bank’s $21m Grant To Boosts Girl Child Education In Kaduna

girlchildThe World Bank has committed the sum of $21 Million as grant to Kaduna State, in north-west Nigeria, to improve girl child education.

The grant was announced on Tuesday by the World Bank’s Senior Education Specialist, Dr. Olatunde Adekola, and it was provided under the Nigerian Partnership for Education Project.

At the inauguration of the project at the Government House in Kaduna, Dr. Adekola, said the grant was meant to support the education of children, especially those at the rural areas to have access to qualitative education.

He explained that the grant would be used for the training of teachers, renovation of schools, provision of teaching materials and offering scholarship to students.

In Nigeria, many children do not attend school because of the inability of their parents to afford the associated costs of fees, uniforms, textbooks and other expenses.

The girl child has been proven to be at a more disadvantaged position when it comes to going to school, and report has it that they have the highest percentage of out-of-school children in Nigeria.

Governor Nasir El-Rufai, who received the delegation, expressed concern at the deplorable state of education in the state and the north in general, saying that his administration had set up some intervention policies and programmes aimed at revamping the sector.

He commended the World Bank and other donor agencies for their financial support to the education sector.

High point of the event is the symbolic presentation of cheque to indigent pupils and teachers.

Apart from Kaduna, other states that are already benefiting from the World Bank grant include Katsina, Kano, Jigawa, and Sokoto.

According to a UNICEF report, 40 per cent of Nigerian children, aged 6-11, do not attend any primary school with the northern region recording the lowest school attendance rate, particularly for girls.

The project, which will last for four years, is expected to boost girl child education in those states.

ASUU Members Are Not Committed To Education Sector – Akin-Alabi

An Education Consultant, Bisi Akin-Alabi, on Wednesday, said that the 5 month long strike embarked upon by ASUU showed the members’ lack of commitment to the education sector, as no professional would leave the students unattended to no matter the situation.

Speaking on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, Mrs Akin-Alabi said the responsibility of an educator is to provide equitable and sustainable education and the use of strike as a tool to ensure demands are met is unprofessional.

She cited an example of the educational sector in the United Kingdom where she had been working for over 20 years and said lecturers in the UK don’t strike, “we picket” she added.

According to her, when picketing, some groups of lecturers continue teaching in the classrooms while others take turns protesting using placards.

“The problem we have in Nigeria is that, most of us in the education sector got there because we couldn’t make our first choice ambition in other fields (then we find our ways into the classroom), whereas in the developed parts of the world, people that are in education would absolutely die for it.”

She stressed that 5 months wasted as a result of the strike is ‘unthinkable.’

“Both the government and the ASUU need to wake up to the cost of 5 months strike.”

She expressed disappointment in the federal government for allowing the situation drag for so long

“It’s appalling to know that we have a democratically elected government and they fold their arms and allow this to go on for five months.”

According to the life coach, the inability of both parties to reach an agreement in good time led to ‘drama’ which ultimately caused the death of Professor Festus Iyayi.

Mrs Akin-Alabi also said she had expected more from President Goodluck Jonathan who was once a university don.

Responding to criticisms against ASUU for refusing to give Mr. President the benefit of the doubt, Akin-Alabi said it has become a norm for the government to renege on promises.

“Over and over again, our leaders go back on their words. Our leaders don’t have the integrity.”

Mrs Akin-Alabi concluded that two wrongs don’t make a right and the ideal thing would have been for ASUU to continue meeting the students ‘behind closed doors.’

“That’s what a professional does,” she said.

JAMB to introduce computer-based exams in 2013

The Registrar and Chief Executive of Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Dibu Ojerinde, has said that “the board will introduce Computer-Based-Testing for candidates in its matriculation examination in 2013.”

According to him,  the innovation would commence on a transitional scale, accommodating between 150,000 and 250,000 candidates in the first experiment in 2013.

He disclosed this during the inauguration of the board’s new zonal office in Ilorin, Kwara State, Tuesday.

Mr Ojerinde said the board was hopeful of converting the Computer-Based Testing for all candidates in 2015.

“We have identified some testing centres for the 2013 transitional experiment all over the federation, including Kwara State. But these are inadequate for the envisaged full blown exercise in 2015.

“Therefore, we urge the Kwara State Government, other state governments, private investors and stakeholders alike to buy into the building of computer-based centres.

“I assure all those who embrace this of patronage not only by JAMB but also of other examination bodies who would sooner than later join the board in conducting public examinations using the CBT,”  the JAMB boss said.

He said the CBT was the future  trend, adding that Nigeria could not be left behind in ensuring that global best practices are achieved.