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CSACEFA, ActionAid, Others Solicits Increased Allocation For Education

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Civil Society Action Coalition on Education for All (CSACEFA) in partnership with ActionAid Nigeria and other partners have called on the Federal Government for increased budgetary allocation in the education sector.

The National Moderator, CSACEFA, Mr Babatunde Omole, at a one-day National Dialogue on Education Financing in Abuja on Thursday also called on stakeholders to leverage on ensuring holistic development in the sector.

The theme of the dialogue tagged, “More and Better Financing Education in Nigeria” is a global action week on education.

He added that in spite of policies to advance the course of education in the country, there was a need for states to assess the Universal Basic Education (UBE) matching grant.

“If we look back as far as 2000, we have a lot of programmes such as the UBE Act, National Policy on Education, the child right act, the violence against Persons prohibition Act and others.

“Despite all these policies, we are not happy to say that Nigeria still has an estimated 13.2 million children according to UNICEF.

“And the National Personnel Audit report of 2018 agrees also that there are high numbers of out of school children in Nigeria putting the figure to nearly 10 million children.

“It is most worrisome that the challenges are coming from the states. How do I mean, many states are not accessing the UBE funds.

“As of 2019, over N51 billion (N51, 612,874,700.70) was lying fallow in the CBN un-accessed, waiting for states to access these funds to provide infrastructure and teachers Professional Development.”

Omole added that towards the ease of lockdown, the Federal Government reduced the funds allocated to the UBE by over 50 per cent, saying that the Federal Government was asked to reverse it.

He, however, called for earnest passage of the UBE bill to fast track development in the education sector.

Also, Mrs Ene Obi, Country Director, ActionAid Nigeria, said that the future of Nigeria lied in the quality of its education which according to her was the major driver of socio-economic development.

Obi called for increased domestic financing for a strong public, inclusive and resilient education system in Nigeria.

She pleaded with the government to rise to the challenge of increased insecurity especially as it affected educational institutions across the country.

In the same vein, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Tertiary Institutions and TETFund, Sen. Ahmed Kaita, reaffirmed the commitment of using legislation with the aim of improving and rejuvenating the deployment of infrastructure in tertiary institutions.

Kaita, represented by the Clerk to the Committee, Dr Mustapha Bintube, also said that the committee was determined to partner with stakeholders in ensuring equality within the system for the betterment of humanity.

Also, Miss Angel Asuzu, a student of Government Secondary School, Kubwa, called for government action on improvement of education in the country.

Asuzu also wanted a political economy for education budgeting as well as sustainability of education financing.

NAN

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Education

Professionalism key to successful teaching practice in Nigeria – TRCN

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Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN) has called for professionalism in the teaching profession

Mr Abimbola Okunola, Assistant Director in the council made the call in Karu on Friday at a one-day Capacity Training Workshop for Education Correspondents Association of Nigeria (ECAN), sponsored by TRCN.

He said this would create successful impact in the education sector.

The workshop has the theme “Professionalism of Teaching and Teacher Education in Nigeria”.

Okunola said that the teaching profession had been rated more critical than any other profession in the world, hence the need to attract the best brains for the practice of teaching in the country.

According to him, teaching is rated extremely important to the development agenda of any society and Nigeria must not be left out.

“In the honourable court of France, only teachers are allowed to sit on the chair. In Japan, the police force has to take special permission from the government to arrest a teacher for any reason.

“In Korea, only teachers enjoy the privilege of a minister and in Germany, teachers are among the highest paid civil servants.

“In the beginning, teaching was so glorious and so noble that in every communities teachers were considered next to kings in importance and development of the society,” he said.

He added that unprecedented rise in societal demand for education, institutionalisation of materialism; emergence of greener pastures among others had forced teachers into a relegated position in the country.

He, therefore, emphasised the need for professionalism as the secret behind the success or collapse of any vocation, hence the need to critically take professionalism serious in the teaching profession.

He also called on teachers to maintain standards at all times as a Teachers Investigative Panel had been created by the council to sanction erring teachers.

Okunola added that the council was collaborating with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) to train 28,000 unqualified teachers.

Similarly, Dr Magaji Waziri, Assistant Director, Department of Planning, Research and Statistics in the council,  said that the country hads been flooded with unqualified manpower which had lowered the quality of teachers in the system.

Waziri maintained that there was therefore need to set standards at all level while ensuring quality teaching and learning through monitoring and supervision of teacher education programmes.

Mr Chuks Ukwuata, Chairman of ECAN called on journalists to ensure adequate reportage of education stories to foster development in other sector.

Ukwuata commended TRCN for their role in ensuring excellence in the education professionalism of teachers as well as maintenance of teachers’ quality.

He also appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to give TRCN boss the chance to pilot affairs of the council for second term to continue transforming teaching profession towards attaining greater heights.

Also, Mr Emmanuel Ogbeche, Chairman, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) tasked journalists on their role in ensuring that crisis in the education sector were resolved.

Ogbeche, who spoke on the topic ‘Education Reporting in Time of Crisis’ called for funding for schools security to ensure the safety of school children.

He added that it was time the country fixed her education by having a transitional education programmes that would translate into development of other sector.

NAN

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