Former Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Bolaji Abdullahi, says Local Governments are too weak to handle basic education.
Abdullahi made the observation on the sideline of a lecture on basic education in Nigeria, organised by the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) in Ilorin, Kwara.
He observed that the basic education, which he described as a foundation to other stages of education, should not be left in the hands of lowest of the three tiers of government.
The former minister, therefore, charged stakeholders in the education sector to think about better ways to fund the basic education.
Abdullah, who is the National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), called for prioritisation of the funding of education to bring about the desired development in the country.
He said that basic education was the only way to measure standard of education.
According to him, once the basic education is faulty, all other steps can be wrong.
“Nigeria has to rethink its entire education system if we want to get a result that we believe can put us on the same pedestal with the rest of the world.
“We have to acknowledge that much of what we are doing at the moment is not working.
“And that is not just about funding, even as important as it is.
“The entire education architecture needs to be overhauled and that is right from basic education.
“We cannot continue to leave the most important level of our education – basic education – in the hands of the third tier of government.
“So, as we begin to consider the autonomy of the local government, it’s important for us to also begin to ask what implication that would have on basic education,’’ he said.
Abdullahi said that Nigerians should ask how the money meant for basic education had been spent so far.
He suggested that “money for basic education should be put closest to the point where a result was expected”.
According to him, school heads should be put in charge of finances and should be made accountable for it.
The former minister noted that teachers were the factor that could attract the desired standard of education in the country.
He added that quality and welfare of teachers should be paramount.