By Usman Shuaibu
Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, has said that pursuant to its mandate, the Ministry is poised to make Nigeria an economic model by delivering sound and inclusive education for public good; and to foster the development of Nigerian citizens to their full potentials.
Malam Adamu stated this in his address at the opening ceremony of the 3rd Nigeria Annual Education Conference held at the Nicon Luxury Hotel, Abuja. The conference has as its theme: Achieving Inclusive Education through Innovative Strategies.
The Minster who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Arch. Sunny Echono, said that although the sector was faced with a myriad of challenges ranging from an unprecedented increase in the number of out-of-school children, lack of adequate infrastructure, inadequate qualified teachers at the basic and secondary education levels, amongst others, the government has put in place strategic plans to achieve an inclusive education.
He said that one of those strategic plans was the directive to Universal Basic Education Commission to ensure that all the basic education schools in the states mostly affected by insurgency were rehabilitated or re-built and provided with sufficient learning materials.
Also, he said that the Federal Teachers’ Scheme has been resuscitated with a view to adequately staff the schools with qualified teachers and ensure that every child of school age in the affected states has unrestricted access to basic education.
The Minister said the recently held Presidential Retreat on Education was a demonstration of political will of this administration to reposition the education sector.
In his keynote address, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, commended the Ministry for efforts taken to turn-around the sector.
The Speaker, represented by Deputy Chief Whip, Parley Eriase, noted that education is too vital to toy with, adding that the National Assembly will continue to make legislation that would engender provision of inclusive education.
In the goodwill messages delivered by British High Commissioner, Mr. Paul Arkwright, representatives of WHO and British Council, acknowledged the efforts of government to address the challenges facing the sector, and pledged their continue supports to programmes of government to reposition the sector.
They called for closer collaboration between all tiers of governments, Development Partners and Non-Governmental agencies in the drive to address the challenges facing the education sector.