The Federal Government has been urged to commence an immediate overhaul of the nation’s education sector in order to save it from an imminent collapse. Experts believe strongly that in the light of the menacing COVID-19 pandemic which has further stifled meaningful academic activities in the education sector for better part of the year, an immediate overhaul would help the country to better cope with the reality of the emerging digitalized society. According to them, the Federal Government needs to consult widely with relevant stakeholders and come out with reforms that will also streamline the educational curriculum away from the conventional system of education to the digital system which is now obtainable. Such a move, they reasoned, would better equip the students to cope with the challenges of the time.
The educational sector has in recent times come under national spotlight owing to government’s closure of schools as a result of the coronavirus. This move has deprived students, particularly the final year students the opportunity to sit for their final exams. The Federal Government through the Ministry of Education recently issued a comprehensive guideline as part of the pre-requisite to be met for the reopening of schools. It has also commenced discussion with the various stakeholders within and outside the country to agree on modalities for the reopening. However, a good number of School Administrators, Academicians and Lecturers across the country, including labour unions are calling for an outright overhaul of the system from the primary to the tertiary levels.
We gathered that, concerned by the effects of post COVID-19 on the nation’s education sector, several of the stakeholders have already submitted proposals on the way forward to the Ministry of Education, awaiting the attention of the Honourable Minister, Adamu Adamu. Sources at the Ministry who pleaded anonymity, while confirming this, said majority of the stakeholders that have been engaging the Ministry, want the leadership to go beyond applying the quick-fix method as contained in the revised guidelines. They reasoned that a more holistic approach would be appropriate in resolving the contentious issues plaguing the sector over the years, including the power sector which is critical to running a digital economy.
In addition to improved curriculum, they are advocating for an increased budgetary allocation and implementation for the sector; training of personnel to them abreast with current innovations; massive infrastructural renovation of public schools and creating of conducive learning environment for students. They are also advocating better remuneration for teachers, better policy formulation and quality control, amongst others. We gathered that the various recommendations are currently receiving the attention of the Honourable Minister of Education.