Minister of State for Education, Barr. Ezenwo Nyesom Wike has declared that the massive transformation and reforms of the Education sector being implemented by the President Goodluck Jonathan administration in the near future have positive multiplier effect on the nation’s development process.
Delivering a keynote address at the National Education Summit organized by the House of Representative Committee on Education in Abuja on Thursday, Barr. Wike stated that the administration’s Four Year Strategic Plan on the Education sector is part of a ten year rolling plan aimed at placing education at the front-burner of national rebirth.
The Minister stated that all stakeholders in the education sector must take responsibility for the general decay that the sector has witnessed over the years and join hands with the Jonathan administration for the success of programmes and policies designed specifically to lift education from its present unenviable state.
He said: “Under the able leadership of Mr. President, the good news is that the process of transformation has begun in earnest. The decay that took decades to inflict on the system will take a considerable length of time to completely undo.
Though we are not where we need to be, we are definitely heading in the right direction to strategically reposition our educational system.”
He appealed to states yet to access their funds at the Universal Basic Education Commission, UBEC, to do so for a holistic revival of education at all levels.
According to him: “It is important to point out here that basic education is the constitutional responsibility of the States and Local Governments. Specifically, States are responsible for secondary schools, while local governments are responsible for primary schools.
“What the Federal Government is doing, through UBEC, is to lend support to the states in efforts to enable the sub-sector get out of the shadows cast by its long neglect. I wish to use this medium to appeal to those states that have not accessed their counterpart funds from UBEC to do so. As much as 41.3bn meant for basic education development remains un-accessed by states to date.”
Wike said that the interventions at the basic and tertiary levels of education are geared towards prioritizing education. He added that the improved budgetary allocation to the sector has helped in tackling key challenges in the sector.
In an address, Chairman of the House Committee, Aminu Suleiman represented stated that the committee will explore all avenues to ensure that the nation attains educational advancement.
The National Education Summit with the theme: “Restructuring as a panacea for the sustainable development of the Nigerian Education System” attracted members of the National Assembly, stakeholders from the states, universities, polytechnics, parastatals and non governmental organizations.