Nigerian Educationists have been challenged to provide solutions to problems confronting the education sector.
The country’s Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo threw the challenge at the opening of the 2016 annual education conference in Abuja.
He said something urgent must be done to bridge the gap existing between public and private schools in the country.
According to the Vice President, the conference organised by the Education ministry provides a platform for rigorous debate that affects the future of education and that of the nation.
“This meeting is obviously not one where you speak merely on routine issues or share experiences only. It creates an opportunity to rigorously debate some of the most important issues that affect the future of education because the future of our society and nation depends on education,” he said.
He described the gap between the poor and the rich as a learning crisis that must be addressed, as he said ore must be done for the education sector.
Professor Osinbajo said the existing gaps in the sector can be addressed through technology, which is cheaper than any other means.
“I strongly believe that the fastest way to bridge the gaps and the huge disparity in our country between the quality of public education especially at primary and secondary levels, compared to what obtains in private schools is technology and fortunately technology is becoming cheaper,” the Vice President stated.
In his remarks, Education Minister, Alhaji Adamu Adamu said the government remains passionate about developing the education sector.
He said steps being taken in the sector were aimed at producing quality teachers in line with goal four of the Sustainable Development Goals SDGs.
“The current administration is squarely addressing challenges in the education sector especially the professional conditions of teaching, motivation and welfare of teachers. For future quality and quantity to be guaranteed, the Ministry has adopted the following strategies; improving of those seeking to enter into the profession, raising the quality of education and training, promoting, recognizing and retraining of active teachers and seeking to exclude those who are ineffective,” the Minister said.
He restated the desire of the ministry to continue to work with development partners and other stakeholders in order to move the sector forward.
Also speaking on behalf of development partners, the Head of the Nigerian office of UK’s Directorate for Integrated Development DFID, Mr Ben Mellor said his country was supporting the training of over 25, 000 teachers and is willing to do more.
“United Kingdom’s Department for International Development DFID, is working with the British Council and others, is working in close partnership with Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Education. The UK government recognises the absolute importance of supporting children and young people to gain basic education in Nigeria,” Mr Mellor stated.
He said development partners would continue to give support, to ensure that teachers have the required professional training.
Participants were drawn from states across the country and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
This year’s conference theme is ‘Learning Opportunities for All – The Critical Role of Teachers’.