FG takes action to improve education quality

No Comments » September 10th, 2016 posted by // Categories: Education for Nigerians (EFN)


Read more at http://www.dailytrust.com.ng/news/education/fg-takes-action-to-improve-education-quality/161828.html#xbfzjy8brRwTcPIU.99


FG takes action to improve education quality

By Misbahu Bashir | Publish Date: Sep 8 2016

The Federal Government recently presented a draft of education reform plan tagged ‘education for change; a ministerial strategic plan (2015-2019)’ to stakeholders and development partners in Abuja, in an attempt to improve the quality of education output. The draft according to the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, contained the key challenges and issues facing Nigeria’s education system and the ministry’s perspective on each of them.

He said the Buhari administration envisions a Nigerian education system that prepares its children for responsibilities of citizenship and national development and that a radical change in education delivery was an imperative for 21st Century knowledge driven economy.

Government actually prepared the draft following myriad of problems confronting education including absence of reliable data to support effective planning, inadequate support for girl-child education, non-functional curriculum at the tertiary education level, low access to basic education, poor teacher education and unattractive reward system as well as proliferation of unregulated state schools.

The stakeholders which include ministry’s department and agencies, state ministries of education, State Universal Basic Education Boards (SUBEBs) and non-governmental organizations were expected to examine the draft and highlight some issues related to their activities in various parts of the country and how they can link up with the ministry’s strategies and priorities.

The draft focused on few aspects of the education sector which the minister said were of high priority. They include out-of-school children, basic education, teacher education, adult literacy, curriculum and policy matters on basic and secondary education, technical and vocational education, education data planning, library services and ICT in education.

On out-of-school children, the minister said in spite of the steady growth of both government and donor-driven educational interventions, Nigeria, with 11.4 million out-of-school children out of 20 million worldwide, has the highest number of out-of-school children. They include girl-child, almajiri-child, children of nomadic pastoralists and migrant fishermen as well as children displaced by Boko Haram insurgency. He said while efforts have to some extent corrected the longstanding pattern of discrimination in access to education and attempt to produce more equitable distribution of schools and teachers in some cases, (girl-child, nomadic-child and almajiri-child) they have hardly affected the reality of low attendance and completion rates among the marginalized groups.

“60% of the 11.4 million out-of-school children in Nigeria are girls. Only a fraction (17%) of 3.1 million nomadic children of school age has access to basic education despite decades of intervention. Similarly, only a small proportion of the ministry’s 2010 estimate of 9.5 million almajiri children have access to any basic education and an increasing number of displaced children ( about 1 million) are being forced out of school in the insurgency-stricken states,” he said.
He said the draft had proposed strategies for engaging with state in addressing the problems of out-of-school children. Government planned to raise the national Net Enrolment Rate (NET) by enrolling 2,875,000 pupils annually for the next four years as well as renovate schools destroyed by Boko Haram insurgency and construct additional 71, 874 classrooms annually for the next four years. Also, government planned to provide additional 71, 875 qualified teachers through the deployment of 14% of the new teachers to be recruited annually and raise the enrolment of girls in basic education schools by 1.5 million girls annually for the next four years. There was a plan in the draft to deploy 7.5% (37,500) female teachers of the 500,000 teachers to be recruited by the government annually to serve as role models for female pupils.

On issues concerning basic education, the minister said 15 years after the launch of the Universal Basic Education (UBE) programme, pupils’ learning data were very unsatisfactory and mean scores in English, Mathematics, and Life skills were very low and generally unsatisfactory. Major problems that slowed down progress on basic education according to the draft were corruption and mismanagement of funds, inadequate funding due to lack of political commitment at all levels, poor quality of teachers, dilapidated and inadequate classrooms, furniture and sanitary facilities, dearth of textbooks and other instructional materials (the textbook-pupil ratio in some state ranges from 1:5 to 1:9), weak monitoring systems, inability of states to access in full the UBE intervention funds and non-inclusion of the last three years of basic education.

The draft said the ministry will work in close collaboration with states, civil society organizations, and international development partners to address the challenges.

The draft also highlighted the challenges facing teacher education and the way forward. It said the quality of teachers produced by the teacher education institutions and their classroom performance was generally unsatisfactory and that up to 44% of primary teachers in Nigeria were unqualified.  The causes of the challenges include low quality of entrants into pre-service training, failure of teacher training schools to match teacher supply with demand, inadequate funding for teacher education and badly organized teaching practice.

The minister said the ministry will work together with the National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE), states and relevant agencies to address problems of pre-service teacher training.

The draft proposal itemized some of the obstacle in higher education and suggested ways of tackling them. It said inadequate access to higher education had reached a crisis proportion to the extent that only 17 per cent of the applicants for admission into universities were admitted, adding that gender disparities, social classes and regional inequalities had worsened. Government said the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) will be strengthened to admit more students while conventional universities will be encouraged to expand their part-time and distant learning programmes.

Government also suggested in the draft proposal to ensure transparent management of resources by the management and councils of tertiary institutions and to improve learning facilities.

On basic and secondary education curriculum, the draft reform proposal said there were difficulties in the production and distribution of the developed pre-primary education curriculum to schools and that the curricula for 34 trades at the senior secondary level require further revision and strengthening.  It said the ministry will work, in conjunction with the Nigeria Education Research and Development Council to ensure the enactment of the bill on the National Book Policy and conduct national book survey, develop National Language Policy (NLP) and promote mainstreaming of Arabic and Islamic Schools, Islamiyya Schools and Madarassah into formal education in line with the National Policy on Education.

It is now left to be seen if the stakeholders will approve the draft plans and whether or not the government will judiciously implement them.
Read more at http://www.dailytrust.com.ng/news/education/fg-takes-action-to-improve-education-quality/161828.html#xbfzjy8brRwTcPIU.99


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