The Federal Government has described as unacceptable, the nation’s low-level education ranking in Africa, arguing that if not redressed the country may not produce the necessary manpower to compete with the rest of the world in the 21st-century global economy.
Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiubu, who stated this, yesterday, in Katsina, lamented that Nigeria had the highest number of out-of-school children in sub-Saharan Africa. He listed some of the issues hampering the development of education in the country to include, including infrastructure decay, inadequate number of qualified teachers and inadequate instructional facilities.
He spoke at the launch of the Better Education Service Delivery for All (BEDSA) programme, a World Bank assisted project in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Education.
“Education is critical for national development as it is the only way we can produce adequate manpower to run the country. For any country to develop, it must have a well-equipped education system that prepares its people with adequate knowledge to enable them to take a competitive advantage in the 21st-century world economy. It is in light of this that we are here to launch BESDA in Katsina State. It is a programme that will ensure a better life for all our children and the cardinal objective is to increase equitable access, improve literacy and strengthen accountability for results at the basic education level.”
The minister said 17 states that are the focus of the programme and that they are drawn from seven states in the North-West, six in the North-East and one each from the other geo-political zones.
“Katsina State is the second-highest in the ranking of out-of-school children in Nigeria and this is worrisome to all of us.”