This is why we need an emergency in the education sector

by Opeoluwa Quadri

If FG cannot entrust the education of 106 Chibok Girls with one of their more than 36 Federal Universities, but enroll them at American University of Nigeria. This is an official acceptance of the decadence in the sector, something critical needs to be done.

The budgetary allocation to the education sector in the 2017 budget was slightly above 550 billion, the allocation was just 7.40% of the total 2017 budget. The sector got N605.8 billion as allocation in the 2018 proposed budget, which is 7.04% of the N8.6 trillion proposed budget. The United Nation recommended that 26% of the national budget should be allocated to the education sector to cater for the rising education demand, this is especially important for developing countries such as Nigeria, yet no administration in the country had gotten closer to a 15%.

The major challenge with the education sector is paucity of funds, from the basic education level to the University level. In other countries, education is a major means of earning foreign exchange, apart from this; some of these foreign universities have grown to become educational tourist location. Even down here in Africa, Makerere University in Uganda is one of the best in the continent, so also Universities in South Africa and North Africa.

Back home, most of our politicians have their children school abroad, even the children of the minister of education and the son of the National University Commission do not have their education in the country, how then can they effectively revolutionize the education sector.

No government has been able to solve the challenges in the education sector and even now, there is no comprehensive plan in place to address the decay, it looks as if government has given up on the sector, except for the ritual of budget allocation on a yearly basis.

Perhaps we need an emergency in the education sector, if just 7.04% of the national budget is allocated to education, yes every sector begs for attention, but there is no doubting the fact that the bedrock of a society that is serious about human capital development is education, knowledge is central to development.


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