President Muhammadu Buhari openly confessed, yesterday, that his government had not done enough to raise the standard of education in Nigeria to an expected level.
Speaking through the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, at the celebration of World Teachers’ Day in Abuja, Buhari said the country’s falling state of education was occasioned by poor wages and little attention to infrastructures by stakeholders, especially government.
The president, nonetheless, promised that the dilapidated education sector would be necessarily tackled by his administration in no distant time.
He said empowering teachers, strengthening the teaching profession and the enthronement of quality education delivery at all levels in Nigeria were among the preoccupations and policy thrusts of his administration.
Buhari added that it was in keeping with the government’s commitment to creating a conducive and safe environment for teaching and learning to flourish, that the administration, at inception, tackled the issue of insecurity on the Northeast and other parts of the country.
He said: “In spite of the appreciable progress we are making in revitalising the education sector, it is still bedevilled with so many challenges. However, these challenges are being systematically tackled and addressed.
“The declaration of ’emergency in the education sector and the launching of the Ministerial Strategic Plan, of the Ministry of education were further actions taken to consolidate the education revitalisation,” he said.
Buhari, also disclosed that in 2016, more than N50 billion was allocated by the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), to colleges of education, polytechnics, and universities to support the training of their teachers to obtain higher degrees.
He said the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) had also invested more than N4.4 billion of the 2015 Teacher Professional Development Fund in teacher training.
The President acknowledged that there was more to do to bring the education system to a desirable level to meet up with World’s best, appealed to stakeholders to pay attention to areas that lead to skill acquisition, entrepreneurship, creative and innovative education.
To show his gratitude to some teachers who have gone extra miles to give in their best in spite of challenges in the education sector, the president, Buhari handed over the keys of a brand new Nissan Almera, to one 51 year-old Okodo Clement Nwoye, from Anambra State, for emerging the 2017 overall best teacher in Nigeria.
Buhari, who pledged to continue to motivate teachers towards improving the standard of education, said the presidential merit award, in which, the car was presented to the overall best teacher, was intended to motivate teachers, school administrators and schools at basic and secondary schools.