With the persistent crisis dogging the education sector in the country, the Co-founder, Education Reform and Innovation Team (ERIT), Mrs. Alero Ayida Otobo, says the sector is in dire need of a sustainable transformation to ensure a future-ready education for every Nigerian child.
Otobo, who disclosed this during the education stakeholder’s conference in Lagos while highlighting the vision of the ERIT group, said the government needs the assistance of education stakeholders to bring to an end the rot in the sector.
“ERIT is a private sector led non-profit organisation envisioned to provide support to governments, schools, colleges, and parents. We collaborate with other stakeholders in improving, transforming and reforming the educational systems through a collective leadership framework.
“The Nigerian educational system is failing to equip the Nigerian child with the required knowledge, skills and competencies needed to thrive in the 21st century. With the fast advanced technology we have today, the curriculum needs to be reviewed to move alongside the 21st century technology.
“This situation in the education sector did not just occur overnight. It is the result of many years of decline, neglect and mismanagement over several decades. The scale of the problem is such that nothing than a systematic and innovative root and branch reform of all its systems is needed to break the downward spiral, she noted.
The one day conference which had the theme, “Education Reform in Nigeria,” which attracted the Lagos State Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Adefisayo Folashade, the Permanent Secretary, Mrs. Abosede Adelaja, a representative of the Vice-Chancellor, Lagos State University (LASU), Prof. Olarewaju Fagbohun and various stakeholders in the public and private sector, was to discuss the challenges facing the educational system.
Dr Toyin Enikuomehin, Head of Department, Computer Science of LASU, who represented the VC, Prof. Fagbohun, recommended a review of the curriculum, adding that students needed to be taught the practical mechanisms of advanced technology and not only the theoretical aspect.
“The university curriculum needs to be structured in a way that encourages the application of practical e-learning. It’s not advisable to lecture students on theories alone and when they get in the fields of their different professions and are asked to apply the practical aspect, they get confused simply because they were not thoroughly taught the basic practicals. Most graduates end up taking professional courses where they are trained on practicals they should have been taught in the universities,’’ he added.
The Permanent Secretary, Mrs. Adelaja, acknowledged the existing of crisis in the education sector, saying that the crisis is a national one as it affects other sectors of the economy, and was not peculiar to the education sector.
“The education sector is in a state of crisis and needs an urgent reform. We call on the partnership of the federal government, and all education stakeholders in the public and private sector to combat the lingering ills in the sector for the good of the Nigerian child.
Mr Dayo Isreal, Permanent Board Member, SUBEB, appealed for the inclusion of students and pupils living with disabilities in the curriculum and stressed on the need for teachers to handle them with patience and extra care.
“The curriculum should be structured to benefit every student including those living with disabilities. Teachers should be given an extra training on how to handle students and pupils living with disabilities. There are cases where disabled students are talked down on and neglected due to their disabilities, but his should not be the case. They are Nigerians and deserve an equal treatment like everyone, he stressed.
Responding to issues raised at the conference, education commissioner, Mrs. Adefisayo, who assured the ERIT group and stakeholders of a sustainable development in the education sector, also thanked them for their patience and appealed for their support to enable the ministry achieve her vision.
“I must commend the ERIT group for their support to assist the ministry achieve her aim. I thank the education stakeholders for their patience and their support too. We are always available to give a listening ear on issues facing the sector.
“We must first acknowledge the politics in the education sector. Until teachers and civil servants are promoted by merit and hard-work, and not by connection or grade, then we can be sure of a sustainable transformation in the education sector. Until teachers in the public and private sector are sent on sponsored trainings that will enhance their skills, then we can be sure of a sustainable transformation.