By Kasim Sumaina in Abuja
A non-for-profit foundation, People Expertise and Excellence Foundation (PEEF), has advocated for 20 percent annual budgetary allocation for education by both the federal and state governments.
PEEF observed that UNESCO recommends between 15 per cent and 20 per cent as the international benchmark for annual budgetary allocation to education. Nigeria currently does about eight percent allocation to education at the federal level.
In a communiqué at its second workshop with the theme: ‘Education vs Reality: Bridging the Gap between the Education System and the Real World’, “PEEF recommends in the first instance 20 percent of annual budget (i.e. recurrent and capital expenditure) as the minimum funding of the education sector at the federal and State government levels.”
PEEF noted that funding of education in Nigeria is not sufficient to cater for the infrastructure and human resource necessities. In this regard, the federal, state and local governments attention is called to this poor funding and urged to ameliorate that.
The communiqué signed by its Executive Secretary, Dr. Musa Rabiu, at the weekend in Abuja also made fundamental recommendations on the restructuring of Nigeria’s education sector architecture.
According to Rabiu, “Education system as currently built and delivered is focused on the award of certificates and not ensuring that the students thrive as adults.”
He said learning is theoretical and carried out using hypothetical abstract concepts and examples as the teachers are mostly not subject matter practitioners in the real-world work
It added that “skills and knowledge being passed down may not always be up to date, best suited, most relevant and directly applicable in the real world. Thus, the learners may not always become readily productive as they graduate into the real world of work.”
Rabiu noted further that “culturally in Nigeria, skills are segregated into gender, vis-a-vis male and female. This is further reinforced by gender stereotype laws. This cuts across almost all sectors of the government where you have laws that segregate gender equality on roles, thus affecting subsequent skills.”
Thus PEEF advocated for the “abrogation/amendment of gender biased laws that limit women in the place of work. At family level, a reorientation is necessary to desegregate domestic chores such that no gender is disadvantaged in skill development.”