The House of Representatives, yesterday, declared a state of emergency on the education sector, vowing to rescue it from further decay. To this end, the House resolved to increase the budgetary allocation of the sector to the United Nations standard of 26 per cent from the present paltry seven percent.
It also set up an adhoc committee to interface with the relevant Ministries, Department and Agencies, MDAs, of government in the sector to proffer best solutions on the issue.
The resolutions followed a motion, titled: “Need to Reform Nigeria’s Tertiary Educational System”, sponsored by Ayodele Oladimeji. Moving the motion, Oladimeji said Nigerians now preferred sending their children abroad, a development he said was responsible for the neglect of the education sector.
He said: “The House notes that strategic importance of education to any nation cannot be over emphasized being the fulcrum of national growth and development. “Also notes that tertiary education is the platform for developing human capital for social, economic and technological transformation and advancement of any nation “Again notes that right to education is a fundamental human right and a tool of attaining not only academic excellence but also social justice and progress, through which citizens achieve not only personal growth but also develop civic and political consciousness.
“Worried that Nigeria loses a minimum of N1 Trillion to Education Tourism annually because about 75,000 Nigerians are currently studying in Ghana, Benin Republic and Egypt, among others “Also worried about the dwindling quality of education in Nigeria, thus making our graduates unemployed, as no fewer than 1.8 million graduates in the country move into labour market every year with the hope of getting jobs that are not available. “Informed that numerous problems beset Nigeria’s educational system, leading to poor quality and exodus of our youth from pursuit of tertiary education; these include inadequate funding and infrastructure, epileptic power supply and examination malpractices.
“Aware that the Nigerian Government allocates 7 per cent of the national budget to education which is far from the 26% budgetary allocation recommended by the United Nations Education and Scientific Organization (UNESCO) for developing countries like Nigeria.
“Also aware that Nigeria’s educational sector needs urgent reform, failing which it will continue to spiral down and Nigerians will continue to spend their hard-earned foreign exchange in financing education tourism.” Contributing to the motion, the Leader of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, lamented the level of infrastructural decay in Nigeria.
Gbajabiamila, who noted that education should be made a fundamental human right for all Nigeria children, said: “The level of infrastructural decay in our schools diminishes your capacity to learn, even to teach. What have we done with our oversight function? ”