It will backfire. It has already.
From the reception area at the TV station before the son of man berth, a presidential candidate was screaming how he’ll reform education upon being elected president; that he’s saddened by the 10.5million out of school children.
A top contender for the presidency recently circulated his policy document on education where he intends going above UNESCO recommendation for education. He’ll allocate 21% of the National budget to education upon the elected president.
How do you intend changing something without adequate information?
Well, for the records, recent data shows Nigeria now have 13.2million out-of-school children and UNESCO actually recommended 26%. But they’ll not listen.
As a country, we should be worried because we are sitting on a keg of gunpowder.
The number of out-of-school children in our country alone is more than the population of Belgium, Rwanda, Tunisia, Cuba, South Sudan, Greece, Sweden, Portugal, Switzerland, Denmark, Singapore, Finland, Norway, Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary. I can go on and on. On the global adult literacy index, we are not faring any better. Take Yobe state, for instance, 63% adult male are stark illiterate, 93.2% for women. And we are investing so much in security. Really?
I believe we can change our country education narrative IF we want. And in doing so we must jettison SELFISHNESS.
In all senses of objectivity and government functionality framework, the out-of-school chance-medley should be blamed on the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) whose function it is to eradicate illiteracy, ignorance, and poverty as well as stimulate and accelerate national development.
I will show you how selfishness has hog-tied UBEC from functioning. UBEC have billions of naira not used but her funding framework requires participating states to contribute to the commission before accessing the fund. A minimum of 200m. In the last 7years, 23 states have not contributed a dime. So, to hell with universal basic education for children in those states. How much is 200m? If the states don’t have – not possible, how about the governors? According to Peter Obi, former Anambra State governor, each Nigerian governor is given over N300million every month as security votes. Do the correlation.
It is selfishness that makes most past commissioners of education and first ladies be opening schools all over the place. 12 former governors have licenses from the National University Commission to operate private universities and 16 waiting approvals yet no one state university is standard. Evil.
At teachers’ day last Friday, president Buhari said Nigeria has a deficit of 250,000 teachers. What is he and his education minister doing about it?
The repercussion of neglecting and joking with education will be dastardly. Good news is, we can rise to the occasion now before it becomes too late.