The Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu has called for a state of emergency saying the current administration would need N1 trillion annually to fulfill its campaign promises on the academy sector.
Speaking on Monday at a retreat of the federal executive council at the presidential villa, Abuja, Mr. Adamu said all change must begin with academic learning.
“If we get education right, other areas of our national life will be right and they will fall in line,” the Minister said.
”I believe that this retreat should end with a declaration of a state of emergency in education so that we can face the challenges frontally and squarely.
“These challenges are not insurmountable. What is needed is vastly improved funding accompanied by a strong political will.
“The strong political will needed to do all this is present in this government. What this government must now do is to make the funds available.”
Adamu pointed that only government has the moral and resource capacity to intervene in all areas of academic provisioning, adding that academy in the country has been given the list priority.
“Nobody has the moral and resource capacity to intervene promptly, substantially and sustainably in all areas of education provisioning better than the government.
“Unfortunately, from 1999 to date, the annual budgetary allocation to education has always been between fourpercent and 10 percent.”
In comparison, Adamu noted that none of the E9 or D8 countries other than Nigeria allocates less than 20 percent of its annual budget to education.
“Even among sub-Saharan Africa countries, Nigeria is trailing far behind smaller and less endowed nations in terms of its investment in education.
“If education is weak or dysfunctional, society and its development will also be weak and dysfunctional.
“And all change including our very change agenda begins with education; because it is education that shapes, corrects and restores society. But to be able to restore order to society, it has to be made a national priority.”
Lately, concerns have been raised over the quality of teachers tutoring in public schools across the nation with evidence of poor performance of pupils in some regions.
In Kaduna and Kogi states, the government is poised to sack public school teachers who fail the competency test that is to determine their suitability to teach students.
President Muhammadu Buhari had earlier decry the state of education in the country saying it “calls for a serious concern.”
He listed the effects of decades of neglect suffered by the sector to include an estimated 13.2 million children out of school, high illiteracy level, infrastructural deficit and decay as well as unqualified teachers and inadequate instructional materials.
The president reiterated that his administration was determined to turn around the sector for the better and charge the summit to work to enhance quality in, and access to, higher education and other challenges in the sector that could debar Nigeria from attaining the SDGs and be among the top 20 economies in the world.