… education yet to connect society, economy-Minister
By Joseph Erunke, ABUJA
The Chairman, House Committee on University Education, Abubakar Fulata has proposed N250,000, N.5 million and N1 million as salaries for primary, secondary and university teachers, respectively.
This came as the Minister of Education, Prof. Tahir Mamman lamented that Nigeria’s education system was yet to contribute to the nation’s societal and economic growth despite the fantastic education policies in place.
Both spoke Thursday, in Abuja,at a one Day National Stakeholders Workshop on the Development of a Roadmap for the Nigerian Education Sector (2023-2027),organized by the Federal Ministry of Education.
Fulata insisted that no primary school teacher should earn less than N250, 000, while secondary teacher and lecturers should earn N500, 000 and N1 million respectively, if Nigeria wants to achieve quality education.
He said: “If you want quality education you must pay them to teach your children very well. Teachers must also be encouraged as it is obtained in the other climes.”
Fulata,who also advocated declaration of emergency on education, equally called on the federal government to commit at least 25 percent or 30 percent of the national budget to education.
Hear him: “The nation must declare a state of emergency in education. We must commit at least 25 per cent or 30 per cent of our national budget to education.”
The Minister of Education,Prof. Tahir Mamman, speaking,lamented that the nation’s education system was not connected to its society and economy, saying things cannot go that way.
According to him,his ministry was determined to change the narratives in line with the aspiration of President Bola Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda.
Mamman said: “Our education system is not connected to our society or our economy, we cannot say for certain that we are key contributors either locally or globally to the ideas which push societies forward.”
According to him, the country has fantastic education policies but they fail to solve its problems.
“When we receive briefings from agencies we will see fantastic policies on education but the problem is our people do not see those policies on ground, they are not seeing the problem addressed and no longer seeing the value of sending their children to school,” he said.
Prof Mamman said there was high number of unemployed graduates because the quality of education they are getting does not connect them to the industries.
The minister said industries were complaining that education institutions were churning out graduates that are unemployable.
He explained that the workshop was convened to develop the roadmap and as such be seen as problem solving one, adding that the government has few days to come up with what it will use to reset the education sector from the basic to the tertiary levels.
The minister however, urged the state governments to do their part so as they can address the challenges of the basic education, saying the federal government only has about 120 unity colleges and the majority rest on the states’ shoulders.
Earlier the Minister of State for Education, Dr Yusuf Tanko said the contribution of Stakeholders at the workshop will help in preparing their children for the future and the development of the nation.
He said the recognition of the importance of education is yet to translate to tangible results that show that an educated person stands a better chance of living a fulfilled life.
“This disconnection between purpose and reality could be said to be responsible for inadequate attention to the sector, wrong perceptions of the relative importance of the different forms and types of education,” he said.
“I must also say that the inability of our youths to gain employment after going through the rigors of academia may be responsible for gradually building dis-interest in the pursuit of education,” he said.