Education: NEC urges governors to declare ‘state of emergency’ in sector

FILE PHOTO: L-R: National Security Adviser, Major-Gen. Babagana Monguno (left); Minister of Power, Housing and Works, Babatunde Fashola and Secretary to Government of Federation (SGF), Mustapa Boss, during the first Federal Executive Council meeting of 2018 presided over by His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR on Wednesday.

The National Economic Council (NEC) on Thursday urged the 36 State Governors to declare state of emergency in the nation’s education sector in their respective states to address the challenges in the sector.

The Dep. Gov. of Edo, Mr Philip Shaibu, made this known when he briefed State House correspondents on the outcome of the NEC meeting, which was presided over by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

He said that the NEC’s decision was sequel to the consideration of an interim report of an ad hoc committee on the National Education Policy, Prospects, Challenges and Way Forward of the education sector.

“The Committee observed that a multi-frontal approach is required to tackle the various factors militating against the achievement of the nation’s educational objectives, in view of the multi-dimensional nature of the crisis in the education sector.

“The committee strongly recommends that: the Federal Government, States and Local Governments collaborate to vigorously implement, and sustain action on the 10 pillars of the Ministerial Strategic Plan developed by the Federal Ministry of Education.

“All Governors to declare a state of emergency in the education sectors of their respective states and demonstrate their commitment to revamping education,’’ he said.

According to him, the areas of attention include the issue of out-of-school children, promoting adult literacy and special needs education, reviving Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and Technical, Vocational Education and Training (TVET).

Others are strengthening basic education, prioritizing teacher education, capacity building and professional development, ensuring quality and access in tertiary education, promoting ICT in education and boosting library services in education.

While assuring that the emergency would be fully implemented, Shaibu said: ” It’s not going to be one of those documents that will be kept aside, and we are all unanimous in addressing it and all the states have agreed on this.’’

According to him, the council has also resolved that the Federal Government and states will allocate a minimum of 15 per cent of their budgets to education in order to reform the sector.

He announced that a Special Task Force would be constituted to manage the funds and oversee the infrastructural overhaul of selected schools for intervention across the federation.

Shaibu also disclosed that the Statistician-General of the federation presented to the NEC the States Gross Domestic Product (SGDP) Computation.

He said the SGDP presentation was to know the sizes of the economy in each of the 36 States.