On February 4, the House of Representatives’ Committee on Basic Education called for a state of emergency in schools in the country.
This call – though familiar – has awakened feelings of disappointment among stakeholders in the educational system, owing largely to the rapid decline of standards.
We picked two other stories from the National Assembly (NASS) for your reading pleasure.
Call for emergency
The Chairman of the Committee, Prof. Julius Ihonvbere, at an education summit organised by the Human Development Initiative (HDI), lamented that children were learning under deplorable infrastructure, contributing to their poor performance.
Ihonvbere had argued that the absence of policy consistency, poor funding and inadequate basic facilities were major challenges saying, “We want a kind of emergency declared on school infrastructure.”
The Committee’s call for a state of emergency is certainly a rehash. The tale of infrastructural rot in schools across the federation is not new. It has lingered for decades amidst several calls for intervention which have fallen on deaf ears.
Indeed, the Committee’s call serves as a reminder of the wholesome mismanagement and absence of a clear roadmap for Nigeria’s educational system.
The dilapidated structures in state and federal schools, millions of children out-of-school, and the frequent shut down of tertiary institutions speak eloquently to the malaise.
It is, therefore, not enough to raise the alarm on the poor state of affairs, but the House must follow through with far-reaching probes on how funds pumped into the system have been used.
The culture of sweeping issues under the carpet must become a thing of the past.
NASS MEMORY LANE
“President Muhammadu Buhari who is the leader of this party (APC) in this country, who has given us great leadership from 2015 to date, who has shown great desire to turn around the fortune of this country, has never rested for a second. He is doing his best even though we are still not out of the woods, but we have done so much between 2015 and 2021…”
Answer: See end of post
Two other stories
Okorocha’s allegations against IPOB
The Senator representing Imo West Senatorial District, Senator Rochas Okorocha, on February 1, alleged that the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, took advantage of the naivety of his followers to hate on Nigeria.
Speaking in a live interview with AriseTV, Okorocha, among others, said: “They had been told the rest of the country hates them. Nnamdi Kanu is a smart man who got this people to think as he wanted.”
Okorocha may not be faulted easily, though. Kanu had made veritable use of Radio Biafra to sell hate against the Nigerian state and the Fulani ethnic stock.
However, it would be hypocritical to imagine that the Federal Government, under President Muhammadu Buhari, has not, through its actions or inaction, provided Kanu and his ilk with reasons to feel aggrieved.
Okorocha must be seen to elevate the national discourse around the Nigerian project by highlighting the enduring factors of justice, equity and fairness always.
Injecting skill acquisition
On February 2, the House of Representatives, advocated the introduction of skill acquisition as a compulsory subject into the basic education curriculum as a way of tackling worsening rate of employment in the country.
The resolution was passed sequel to the adoption of a motion sponsored by Hon. Ganiyu Johnson. It noted in part:
“The House is also aware that skills acquisition, which may take the form of innovation and creativity, has become critical for achieving success in any given economy, however, the current curriculum centred on academic qualifications and government jobs alone are not enough for a sustainable economy.”
Again, it wouldn’t be the first time that the subject of skills acquisition is being broached. Many had advocated that the Skills Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Department (SAED), taught at National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), camps should be made into a full course at higher institutions. This, disappointingly, has not been heeded.
Will the renewed clamour amount to mere lip service? Johnson and his fellow lawmakers must make the agitation count by pushing that the Federal Ministry of Education does the needful.
Answer: Dr. Ahmed Lawan
Lawan made the statement, on December 19, 2021, in Gombe State, at the lunch of empowerment programme of Senator Sa’idu Ahmed Alkali for his constituents. Lawan is the President of Nigeria’s Senate. He represents Yobe North Senatorial District
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