By Hassan Haruna Ginsau
The National conference yesterday adopted a recommendation by its committee on social sector which proposed the declaration of a state of emergency on the country’s education sector, adding that the Federal Government should allocate 20% of the country’s annual budget towards the sector.
It also unanimously agreed that all almajiri schools should be converted to normal schools and that states with the almajiri system should give a timeframe of how they will integrate them with normal schools or faze them out.
Aside from recommending the state of emergency in the education sector, delegates asked for the FG to declare a state of emergency on basic education in the North.
Yesterday’s afternoon session extended well past the normal closing time of 6p.m till 7:20p.m. It saw the adoption of the committee on social sector’s report, chaired by Mrs. Bisi Olateru-Olagbegi.
Delegates agreed that states shall direct policy towards free healthcare for children aged 0-5 years, elderly aged 65 and above, the disabled and prison inmates. They also adopted that special girls schools be established to address cultural issues; that the FG should pass legislation to prohibit putting up telecommunication masts in residential areas, and also pass legislation to prohibit female genital mutilation; that the FG should re-introduce sanitary inspectors in homes and public areas.
The conference also resolved that the FG should encourage training of traditional midwives and attendants; that drug education is included in primary and secondary school curricula; that all incumbent and aspiring public officers should undergo sanity, drug and alcohol tests.
Delegates also voted for mobile clinics to be established in rural communities. They also agreed:
that the FG should review laws on fake drugs, handing life imprisonment to certain degrees of offences; that the FG discourage automatic promotion in primary and secondary schools; and that religious knowledge, dictation, civic studies, nature studies be reintroduced in schools.
Other recommendations passed were that; the FG should pass policy to restore grading systems; that the FG should dedicate funds towards housemanship training; that Nigerian universities recognise and encourage e-learning programmes; that the FG should implement policy that will regulate the numbers of pupils in the class room; and that compensation be paid to families of victims of medical negligence.
In addition, the confab agreed that; there should be free cancer screening in hospitals; and that
federal, state and local governments should establish vocational schools for out of school children.
However, delegates rejected the following recommendations; that existing regional public health laws be harmonised; that a surgeon general of the federation be appointed; that the Ministry of women affairs be changed to the Ministry of women, gender and social issues.
It also disagreed that existing informal settlements around cities should be upgraded instead of being demolished.