The Federal Government has expressed readiness to internalise the focus of the global education summit by placing education on top of the agenda of political leaders in the country.
The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, Mr David Adejo said this at the 2nd Nigeria National Consultation of the Transforming Education Summit (TES) in Abuja on Thursday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the UN convened a TES in September 2022, aimed at mobilising action, ambition, solidarity and solutions to transform education between now and 2030.
Adejo said that the Federal Government was interested in the application of the target of the summit to transform the educational sector of the country.
“If we spend more money on education, we will be meeting the global requirements in education.
“We must see that we recover fully from the COVID-19 pandemic, which has shown us the opportunity for improving education.
“We also need to address educational exclusion, safely and health issues by focusing on girl-child education, out-of-school children and learners with disabilities.
“We must create an enabling environment for technical education. The country must start balancing technical education to what we are doing.
“That is why the government is encouraging institutions to balance what the industry needs with what is being produced from the universities,” he said.
Adejo also that the government was prioritising the teaching profession through increased teaching age for teachers and bursary awards for their children.
He promised that the bursary awards for children of teachers would commence in 2023.
“When we are growing, the most important person in our communities then were the teachers but it is not so today.
“We must therefore transform the teaching profession in such a way that we can have more teachers interested in the profession,” he said.
The permanent secretary however called for private financing of education as public financing could never be sustainable.
The Deputy Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC), Mr Chris Maiyaki, while speaking on the overview of TES, said the summit would renew global commitment to education.
Maiyaki said it would also help in building on the huge gains recorded from Nigeria’s active and notable participation at the pre-Summit, which was held at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris.
According to him, the second national consultation seeks to broaden consultation, enrich and harmonise our national statement as well as get an update on Nigeria’s co-leadership role with Romania.
“It is envisaged that at the end of this consultation, we would have developed a common vision, renewed commitment and re-aligned actions, enough to put our weight behind the global effort to transform education between now and 2030.
“It is also necessary to focus on the much-needed policy, planning and budgetary changes necessary to recover learning losses, get SDG4 back on track and re-imagine education into the future,” he said.
Meanwhile, the UN Resident Coordinator in Nigeria, Mr Mattias Schmale said that the summit was a key initiative to transforming education to achieve accelerated progress and inclusive lifelong education.
Schmale, represented by the UNESCO Regional Education Advisor, Mamadou Lamine- Sow, said there was a need to ensure children were safe in school and to make education affordable.
He said that educational transformation would only happen if teachers were professionalised, trained, motivated and supported to drive the process of guiding the learners to reach their objectives.
He called on decision-makers to prioritise the cost of learning and as well as provide teachers and education personnel with good working conditions for professionally qualified teaching.
The Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu said commended global partners for their commitment to the development of education in the country.
Adamu, represented by the Minister of State for Education, Hon. Goodluck Opiah said the Federal Government would consolidate on the synergy to move the country’s education sector forward.