Filed under: World
The Nigerian National Chapter of the Global Civil Society Organization, CCLP worldwide, organised a one day education conference, book fair and exhibitions at the Rockview Hotel, Abuja, on 12th September, 2011. The conference which was on the theme ‘Strengthening Nigeria Education Infrastructures’ attracted the participation of members of the diplomatic corps, United Nations Volunteer Service Office in Nigeria, academia, education policy makers and operators, non-governmental organisations and philanthropists and was chaired by the former President of the Nigeria Senate, Distinguished Dr. Joseph Wayas GCON. Other dignitaries that attended conference include H.E. Mahesh Sachdev, the Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria, H.E. Col. Paul Omeruo, former Military Administrator of Kogi State, Professor Shamsudeen Amali, VC, Nassarawa State University, Keffi, Ms. Galina Chus of the United Nations Volunteer Program Officer for Nigeria, seasoned academics, members of the civil society, and distinguished CCLP ambassadors led by Dr. Elvis C. Enyioko, CCLP Nigerian Country Ambassador and Ambassador-at-Large of the African Region.
A total of eight well researched papers were presented by the galaxy of personalities and scholars present at the conference. The presenters include: H.E., Mahesh Sachdev, the Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Ms. Galina Chus, Dr Ahmed Modibbo, the Executive Secretary of Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), Barrister Phillip Umeadi, the INEC National Commissioner for Legal Services, and Professor Benedict O. Duyilemi. Organisations that gave account of their interventions in the Nigerian Education sector include the TY Danjuma Foundation, Knowledge Centre Nigeria and the United Nations Volunteer Program Office in Nigeria.
After exhaustive deliberations on the papers presented, the conference observed as follows:
1. That education is the bedrock upon which the development of any nation depends.
2. That a teachers’ volunteer service scheme such as the Peace Corps, CUSO, etc, were useful in filling the gaps in the teacher shortages at the lower levels of education in the 6os and 70s
3. That education is undeniably a driver of national development as is exemplified in the experiences of emerging world economies like India
4. Philanthropic organisations such as the TY Danjuma Foundation have been intervening quietly in the provision of basic infrastructure such as clinics, classrooms, books, libraries and teaching aids across the country
5. Whereas Government has mobilised funds through the UBE that could improve basic education at the lower levels of education, there are funds unaccesssed by states, due to the unwillingness of the concerned state governments to release counter-part funds
6. That the Federal Government has made great strides in establishing the Open University Scheme, but this scheme however, is not comprehensive enough to achieve the desired result
7. That the absence of civic education in the lower levels of our education is responsible for the involvement of some youths in civil unrests and other social vices in Nigeria
In view of the foregone, the conference deems it fit to recommend as follows:
1. Education needs to be given its pride of place in national planning. There is a need to progressively increase allocations to this sector to reverse the decay
2. Local teachers’ volunteer scheme should be established to complement the existing international volunteer service schemes in Nigeria. This is one way to check the current shortage of qualified teachers at all levels of education.
3. The task of funding education in Nigeria requires the participation of government, corporate citizens and philanthropic organisations and foundations
4. State governments should maximise the opportunities provided for the funding of their primary schools through the UBE by meeting their commitments to access the funds
5. Efforts should be made to grant better access to education by strengthening the open school system at the secondary and tertiary education levels in Nigeria
6. Civic education should start from the home, as it is the basis for moral growth. Accordingly, government should reintroduce civic education at the primary school level
At the end of the conference, Nigerians who have distinguished themselves in the development of the education industry in Nigeria were recognised and given special awards. Among the recipients include: Professor Ruqayyatu Ahmed Rufa’i (Icon of Education Management in Nigeria), Comrade Abba Moro (Award for Impactful Leadership in the Education Sector), Chief Barr. Nyesom Wike (Award of Excellence in Education Development in Nigeria), Dr Joseph Wayas, GCON (Global Education Charter Award), Professor Nicholas Agiobi Damachi OON (Global Education Charter Award), Professor Shamsudeen O.O. Amali, OFR, (Best University Administrator Award), University of Port Harcourt (Best Managed University in Nigeria), University of Benin (Award for Impactful Leadership in the Education Sector), Modibbo Adama University of Technology Yola (Award for Best Managed University in Nigeria), Hon. Patrick Obahiagbon (Global Education Charter Award) and Prince Adeyemi Adesegun Adefulu (Best Individual Contributor to Education Sector in Nigeria).
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