Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, former chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega, and a former minister of Education, Rukaiyya Ahmed Rufai, have advocated more attention for the education sector in the country.
They separately spoke at the 2021 convocation ceremony of the National Institute For Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS)-University of Bennin (UNIBEN) Post Graduate and Higher National Diploma programmes, which held at the National Assembly on Monday.
Speaking, the convocation lecturer and former minister of education, Rukaiyya Ahmed Rufai, in her paper titled, “Insecurity and the New Dangers to the Girl Child Education in Nigeria: Options for Nigerian Government,” said the country has the highest number of out-of-school children with 10 million in the last 10 years.
Rukaiyya attributed the problem in the education sector to corruption, inadequate planning and non-implementation of education policies, saying that the situation affect the girl-child.
“There is a about 1- 3 million out of school girls than the boys in a country of 10 million out of school children. 6 million girls are out of school in the North,” Rukaiyya said, adding that the issue of school abduction was also affecting girl-child education.
“Student have been killed while others suffered all forms of abuses especially the girl child,” Rukaiyya said, adding that school closure, displacement of the population, poor allocation to the education sector is affecting education in the country.
On the way out, Rukaiyya said political will was a major issue, adding that serious political will was needed, noting that the right individuals should be given responsibility and opportunity to carry out education functions.
She said good governance, addressing the causes of insecurity were what will return the quality of education in the country.
The former minister, who said transparency and accountability in governance must be looked at and the Nigerian borders checked, said curriculum must be reviewed consistently with all the threats to education tackled.
“Internally displaced camps must be provided with basic facilities for education. Nigeria must expand it education policy. Women should be given priority when it comes to empowerment. Nigeria must take advantage of technology in monitoring of school and teaching. School environment should be integrated with quick response team. Nigeria must utilise public private partnerships in building education infrastructure,” she added.
For his part, Senate President Ahmad Lawan who was represented by the Senate leader, Senator Yahaya Abdullahi, said the NILDS was established to provide support services to the legislature, adding that the National Assembly will continue to support the institute.
“We will ensure that budget provision for NILDS are given for the completion of their permanent site along the airport road before the expiration of the 9th Assembly,” Lawan said adding that the impact of the institute is helping in advancing governance.
Also speaking, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, said NILDS has work towards its vision.
Gbajabiamila, who said they were committed to taking out-of-school children off the streets, added that
they will ensure they finish the building of the NILDS at the airport road before the end of the 9th Assembly.
Former Vice Chancellor of Bayero University Kano, who is also a former INEC chairman, Attahiru Jega, said he has been associated with NILDS since it formation, adding that in recent years, his association with the institute has been on consultancy basis.
Jega, who said NILDS was helping the work of national legislature, said the graduation was an indication of hard work and value addition to the progress of the country.
Jega, who commended the national assembly for giving the support to the institute, added that the National Assembly bureaucracy should support the graduands for value addition.