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Rights group call for education sector overhaul

3 years ago | 49



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A rights group, Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR) has called for the total overhaul of the education sector for enhanced service delivery.

Mr Jeremiah Onyibe, state secretary of CDHR in Ebonyi made the call during a press briefing in Abakaliki on Wednesday.

According to him, right to affordable and qualitative education is an inalienable right of every citizen of the country.

He noted that it was the responsibility of government to ensure that citizens were provided with best teaching and learning environment.

He said that the education sector in Nigeria had suffered neglect arising from poor funding and incessant strikes which had led to brain drain and rot in the system.

Onyibe, therefore, called for the convocation of national stakeholders’ summit on education to address the problems militating against qualitative, functional and affordable education in the country.

He said that a holistic overhaul of the system was needed to save the education industry from total collapse and stem the spate of migration of the nation’s best brains to Europe, America and Asia.

He regretted that the country’s budgetary allocations for the education sector in 2017, 2018 and 2019 had dropped below the 15 per cent and 20 per cent benchmark of UNESCO recommendations for developing countries.

He said that statistics revealed that the country in 2017 budgeted about N396 billion in education.

He added that the figure increased to N605 billion in 2018 and was raised to about N620 billion in the 2019 budget.

He said that the 2019 allocation to the education sector represented about 7.05 per cent of the nation’s total budget, describing it as a far cry from what is required to efficiently fund the system.

Onyibe said that incessant strikes by the academic and non academic unions and other unrest in the nation’s public owned tertiary institutions had led to poor ranking and rating of Nigerian universities in the world.

“There has been much lip service to addressing issues and challenges facing our education sector from primary to the tertiary levels of education and this is not healthy for the overall development of the nation.

“Our leaders are less committed to truly tackling the problems confronting the sector because they prefer to send their children and wards abroad to study in world’s institutions of higher learning.

“The children of the poor and helpless are left to study in very hostile, uncertain and unstable academic environment made possible due to lack of proper funding and unsustainable policies.

“We advocate that the National Assembly should as a matter of urgency, make law banning public office holders from sending their children to study in foreign universities in America, Europe and Asia or even in other African countries.

“Our political leaders send their children to study in distant countries while our institutions are abandoned to suffer from decay of basic learning infrastructures,” he added.

-NAN

BE

JULY 24, 2019 15:24 GMT

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