The Minister of State for Education, Hon. Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba has reiterated the importance of the education sector to any country and to the Commonwealth in general.
Nwajiuba stated this while delivering his keynote address at the Commonwealth Day Celebration in Abuja on Monday, March 14, 2022.
TheFact Nigeria gathered that illiteracy was the cause of the current predicament of poverty and insecurity the country was facing.
Nwajiuba stated that, due to the existence of many poor countries with developing economy as member nations of the commonwealth, the provision of quality education for all, migration to Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET), access to quality education by all, the provision of free quality basic education for a minimum of the first 9 years of learning and the total elimination of out-of-school children syndrome were recurrent issues.
He however stressed that the education sector was very pertinent in the realisation and promotion of the stated ideals of commonwealth.
Highlighting some of the milestones achieved in the country, the Education Czar said: “The administration of His Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, through the Ministry has reduced the number of out of school children from 10.1 million in 2019 to 6.9 million in 2020.
“Innovations like Better Education Service Delivery For All, (BESDA) is being implemented in 17 Pilot states on three result areas: increasing equitable access for out-of-school children, improving literacy, and strengthening accountability for results.
“The Adolescent Girls Initiative for Learning and Empowerment, (AGILE) project is also on stream. The programme design is to empower adolescent girls who are either out of school or in-school through skill acquisition, financial empowerment and inculcation of other pertinent life skills to enable them eke a living, remain and complete schooling.
“In collaboration with Commonwealth of Learning (COL), the National Open University (NOUN) has expanded its Online courses into West African sub-regions. The National Teachers Institute (NTI) is also coordinating distance learning programmes for teachers thereby increasing access. COL also strengthens the capacity of staff in tertiary institutions for optimal service delivery”, he said.
Speaking further, Nwajiuba explained that, access to Education was also being expanded continually to achieve the Commonwealth stand on equitable unfettered provision of quality Education for all citizenry by national governments of member states.
He disclosed that there is an ongoing advocacy to the National Association of Proprietors and School Owners in Nigeria, (NAPSON) for each private school to voluntarily sponsor at least five pupils as their corporate social responsibility. This, he said, is projected to drastically take some vulnerable children off the streets and also increase access to quality education.
The Education Boss also explained that, in tandem with the Commonwealth quest for member states to provide and sustain quality education, the Ministry developed several guidance; a curriculum in basic literacy and numeracy in the three major Nigerian languages and English, code of conduct for adults and non-formal education, literacy and numeracy primers for teaching arithmetic and facilitators guide in English and the three major Nigerian Languages.
Nwajiuba therefore stated that it was important that the education sector commemorate Commonwealth Day each year to evaluate amongst others, the achievement of the Commonwealth of nations’ education goals.