The Federal Government has reiterated its focus on improving the value proposition of teachers and undergraduate students studying education courses in any of the public universities across the country.
In this vein, plans are underway, according to the Minister of State for Education, Rt Hon Goodluck Nanah Opiah, to introduce payment of bursary to students reading education in higher institutions from next academic session.
This revelation was made available to DAILY POST in a release signed by the SA Media/Public Affairs to Hon Minister of State for Education,Sir Kelechi Mejuobi .
The minister while responding to moderators during the official launch of SDG-3 and SDG-4 Independent Evaluation Reports in Nigeria on Thursday at State House Banquet Hall, President Villa, Abuja.
Answering questions bothering on strategic priorities of the education sector the government of Nigeria should adopt to improve the quality of basic education for all Nigerian children, posed by Dr Mary Faith MountCors and Dr Marcelo Castrillo; the moderators, during the event, Rt Hon Opiah, who represented the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, expressed that among other strategies is “focusing on improving the value proposition of teachers so that we can retain experienced teachers, attract and retain the best brains into the profession. This is manifested in the recent elongation of years of service with some incentives including payment of bursary to all students reading education in our tertiary Institutions beginning from the next academic session”
Explaining further on the question in the event the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osibanjo presented a keynote address, the minister said that basic education provides the template upon which other higher levels of education build on.
“It is more of what we are already doing. That means already adopted and now not should adopt to improve the quality of basic education in Nigeria. This is anchored on the Ministerial Strategic Plan, (MSP 2028-2022)
“Strengthening early childhood care and development, to prepare children for the first six years of education by ensuring that from age three they are exposed to education; broadening the scope of intervention of the Universal Basic Education beyond the six years of schooling to also include the first three years of secondary education and also creating conducive learning environment for basic education through the provision of state of the art infrastructure”
Other measures the minister gave during the discussion segment are “focusing on improving numeracy and literacy rates including the introduction of Teaching at the Right Level to ensure that children at the age for basic education at levels that would appropriately capture their level of understanding. This has been very useful especially in conflict areas as well as the adoption of Home Grown School feeding programme which is helping to improve enrollment, thereby improving the quality of basic education”
While stating that partnership with developing partners are yielding dividends in that direction, especially in reduction of out of school children, the Minister revealed that more libraries are also being created at the junior secondary school level to serve as centre of teaching and learning.
The response of the minister didn’t end without touching on new found measures the education ministry has formulated for security of students in unity schools.
“We are aware of the situation in the country which is a challenge and the need to safeguard our children in schools. Steps are in this direction as we prepare for the opening of the coming academic session” he added.
Among the panelists were the Minister of Health, the Chairman, Nigeria Govenror’s Forum, international agencies like USAID, FCDO, World Bank and UNICEF.