Government at all levels in the country have been warned against playing politics with education in Nigeria.
The warning was given on Thursday by a lecturer in the Faculty of Education at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU), Bauchi, Professor Mansur Usman Malumfashi in a keynote address he delivered at the second annual National Conference of Faculty of Education, held at Bayero University Kano (BUK).
The don submitted that instead of playing politics with education, the government should show more commitment to the sector by earmarking 26 percent of the annual budget to education with a view to addressing challenges facing the sector.
While asserting that the ultimate goal of education is the transformation of the society and the only vehicle for sustainable development, Malumfashi declared it was high time the government gave attention to the quality education in the country.
He noted that the country’s education sector has been negatively impacted by worsened social upheaval and economic instability.
“No amount of investment in education is too much. Education is sine qua non of development. Therefore, it must be adequately funded in line with UNESCO recommendations.
“The challenges in the education sector in the country have been worsened by social upheaval and economic instability.
“The high rate of crime and criminality, food insecurity excruciating poverty, misery and squalor, diminishing industrial output, low foreign direct investment, insecurity of lives and property and high rate of dropout have all impacted on education in the country,” he said.
According to Malumfashi, the education sector in Nigeria was faced with various national challenges, including low quality of education, indiscipline, politics, poor parenting and guidance, among others.
“The sector is faced with various national challenges which include low quality of education, indiscipline, politics, poor parenting and guidance, lack of infrastructure, unstable curriculum and calendar, unwillingness to study education, poor funding and poor governance of education,” he said.
Malumfashi listed staff attrition unaffordable education, the lack of good welfare for teachers, scarcity and prohibitive costs of books and other learning materials at all levels, poor reading culture and lack of strong library structure at all levels, among others, as some of the national challenges facing education in Nigeria.
While submitting that education is the top priority of human development index, the don asserted that the experience in Nigeria was far from reality.
He, however, advocated for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) to be in the forefront for Nigeria to develop, saying that, “cutting edge research must be embarked upon to solve societal problems.” NAIJATABLOID