No doubt, Nigeria’s educational system is far from ideal. Our educational system like all other sectors of the economy is in bad shape.
Successive administrations have paid lip service to the growth and development of the education sector. The budget of our education sector in Nigeria in recent years has varied between 6% and 9%. This is lower than most other African countries which range between 11% and 30%.
Experts have contended that the first major step to fixing Nigeria’s education problems would be to increase budgetary allocations to between 11% and 15%.
Sadly, also Nigeria has the highest number of out-of-school in the world with our 13 million children. The number is more than the population of some European countries.
Regrettably, the number out – of- school children will serve as a ready pool of recruitment for bandits and insurgents.
Pointedly, our universities have been underfunded and have become glorified secondary schools.
Many Nigerians were elated recently when President Muhammadu Buhari pledged to increase the budget for the education sector by as much as 50 percent over the next two years.
In a document titled, Heads Of State Call To Action On Education Financing Ahead Of The Global Education Summit signed as a form of commitment at the on-going Summit in London, United Kingdom, the President stated
“We commit to progressively increase our annual domestic education expenditure by 50% over the next two years and up to 100% by 2025 beyond the 20% global benchmark.”
The Summit which is being co-hosted by the Prime Minister of UK Boris Johnson and the President of Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta seeks to give opportunities for leaders to make 5-year pledges to support GPE’s work to help transform education systems in up to 90 countries and territories.
Speaking during a panel session Thursday at the Global Education Summit in London, the President said the size and population of Nigeria are challenges for any administration, but despite this, the government and people realize that education is the starting point for success.
President Buhari: “You can’t succeed outside your educational qualification. Anybody who missed education has missed everything. Nigerians are acutely aware of the priority of education, and parents are making sacrifices to ensure that their children and wards get educated.”
On the panel with President Buhari were Presidents Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana, Faure Gnassingbe of Togo, Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, and Lazarus Chakwera of Malawi.
Each President spoke on the peculiarities of the education sector of his country, and how budgetary provisions would be increased to ameliorate the situation. They all raised their hands as a sign of commitment to that resolution.
President Buhari had earlier committed to raising the budget for education by 50% in the next two years, and the country would attain a 100% increase by 2025.