From Fred Ezeh and Abigail Anosike, Abuja
Nigeria Investment Promotion Council (NIPC) has join forces with the Education Sector Investment Promotion Initiative (EDUINVEST) to propagate measures that would strengthen the country’s education system.
The Coordinator of EDUINVEST, Mrs. Arete-Zoe Amana, who disclosed this to journalists in Abuja on Wednesday, identified public private partnership (PPP) and establishment of EduPolis as some of the measures.
She encouraged government to support such partnership and other measures to enable interested private investors to complement the effort of government in necessary areas.
Amana challenged stakeholders and policy makers of quit complaint about the rot in the system and mobilise support and political will, that would pull Nigerian education system out of the doldrums.
She said: “Decades ago, student from other African countries were in Nigeria to acquire education. But otherwise is now the case. Nigerian students are scattered all over the world paying huge amount in school fees, thus investing in other people’s country instead of theirs.”
Minister underlines importance of good teachers
From Fred Ezeh, Abuja
Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, has identified the importance of professional and qualitative teachers in academic development of Nigerian children.
Adamu said the absence of such qualified and professional teachers has been responsible for the poor academic performance of Nigerian children.
The minister, who spoke at the 61st meeting of the National Council on Education in Abuja yesterday, confirmed that the development or otherwise of any society was determined by the level of education of its citizens.
He said: “Government may provide the right funding, materials, excellent infrastructure, curriculum, and other needs but unless we have good and qualified teachers, we won’t achieve our desired goal.”
Adamu told the gathering that the choice of the theme, “Teacher Quality: a tool for sustainable human capital development,” was informed by the need to draw attention of policy makers, technocrats, professionals and stakeholders in education to the indispensability of the teacher in human capital development.
He, however, enjoined the participants to use the occasion of the conference to take stocks of progress in education in their various states, identify challenges and consider policy options that will enable the government move the sector forward.
National Council on Education is the highest policy making body on education in Nigeria. The annual conference had in attendance state commissioners of education, their permanent secretaries and other relevant stakeholders.
HEALTH: FG seeks partnership in vaccines, diagnostics production
From Magnus Eze and Adanna Nnamani, Abuja
The Federal Government, through the National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA), has expressed its willingness to partner Private Medical Laboratory Proprietors Association of Nigeria (PMLPAN) to manufacture vaccines and diagnostics locally.
The Director of Medical Biotechnology of the agency, Prof. Alex Akpa, stated that setting up of private medical laboratories would promote qualitative medical delivery in the country.
Akpa, who spoke during the formal inauguration of PMLPAN and induction of members in Abuja, said encouraging people to establish private laboratories would not only promote healthy competition in qualitative medical services but also provide jobs for Nigerians at this period of economic downturn.
He stressed the need for Nigeria to produce vaccines locally for its about seven million children born yearly, while also condemning the over $40billion spent by Nigerians on medical tourism.
According to the professor of pharmaceutical microbiology and biotechnology research, the country spends over $15million annually on the importation of diagnostics alone.
EDUCATION: Govt launches educational policy documents
From Fred Ezeh and Chiamaka Nzenweaku, Abuja
The Federal Government yesterday launched two educational development policy documents entitled, the National Quality Assurance Policy (NEPAQ) and National Teachers Education Policy (NTEP).
Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, who presented the documents to the National Council on Education (NCE) in Abuja, said both documents have the potential to address some obvious shortcomings in the system.
He told the council, which is the highest policy making body on education, that NEPAQ articulates a well-defined national quality assurance system for institutions that are below the tertiary level, and expected standard of practice.
The policy, he said, would boldly address the shortcomings and challenges that have long impeded effective monitoring and evaluation of the teaching and learning processes, as well as feedback mechanisms.
On the other hand, Adamu said that the objective of NTEP was to produce highly skilled, knowledgeable and creative teachers that are capable of producing globally competitive students.
The policy, according to him, will ensure that teachers are recruited, trained and re-trained based on explicit standards.
SMEDAN: SMEDAN collaborates with German firm
From Walter Ukaegbu, Abuja
Director-General, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria ((SMEDAN), Dr. Umaru Dikko Radda, is collaborating with Giz, a German organisation at the national and local government levels on the Business Community Development Network (BDCN), a programme geared towards advocacy for the MSMEs.
Speaking at the National Economic Advocacy for growth of Local enterprises,” the DG said the MSMEs globally was the engine of growth for economic development since they contribute greatly to employment generation, utilisation of local resources as well as provide the platform for rapid industrialisation and rural revitalisation.
As a result, he said the sub-sector has contributed greatly to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), while recalling that following the recent collaborative survey between SMEDAN and the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) it was revealed that of the over 37 million MSMEs, micro enterprises form the bulk with about 96.4 per cent.
This, he explained, showed that the numbers of the micro enterprises were huge and should be greatly nurtured accordingly. He stated that the national economic advocacy for growth of local enterprises was coming at the right time, particularly, as the nation’s committed towards diversifying the economy, utilising local resources and stirring rural investment potentials.