There is no doubt that education is one of the basic pillars of economic and national development. It is only by providing accessible and abundant learning opportunities that a nation can empower its communities to develop and prosper. However, currently the Nigerian education sector is suffering to a great extent primarily due to unstable governments, political disturbances, corruption and limited financial support. Hence, numerous academic experts and stakeholders opine that the academic sector will face further problems in case the current scenario continues.
Poor Education Practices
According to a new report published by UNESCO, Nigeria, along with Ethiopia, Pakistan and Chad are among the nations which are drastically off target for the 6 key academic goals which 164 nations agreed to accomplish 2000 and 2015. The study, which was launched in Santiago de Chile, New Delhi, New York and Paris, revealed that Nigeria is among the worst education systems in the world due to poor investment, conflict and corruption. Moreover, it also has the highest number of kids out of school.
Back in 2000, around 164 nations had agreed to attempt to accomplish the 6 key educational goals in the coming 15 years, objectives which enhanced the MDGs (Millennium Development Goals) that were also being set. These 6 goals included getting all children enrolled in primary schools, reducing adult illiteracy and making sure that all girls had equivalent access to education. The UNESCO report stated that around 50 per cent of the countries had more or less failed to get all kids enrolled in primary schools, 75 per cent nations were unable to reduce illiteracy significantly, and over half of the countries could not eradicate gender disparities at school.
Achieving Academic Goals
Where Nigeria, Ethiopia, Niger, Pakistan and Chad were identified as the ones way off target in achieving the 6 key goals, countries like India, Tanzania, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Nepal and Afghanistan were praised for their successful efforts. Getachew Engida, Deputy Director General at UNESCO, said “Personally I feel countries that committed themselves haven’t delivered and they should, and we need to keep reminding them of that,” while launching the EFA (Education for All) Global Monitoring report. Engida added “There is no other alternative than simply saying ‘Please commit yourself and once you’ve committed, deliver’. We continue to pass on that message but we haven’t been fully successful.”
In the last few years several countries have substantially boosted investment in education. More than 38 nations increased academic spending by 1 per cent or more of the national income between the years 1999 and 2012. However, the fact remains that education is often not identified as a priority in several national budgets; while countries with low income relying on overseas aid for development to support academic programmes, according to the report.
After the goals were finalised, in the first 10 years foreign education aid increased to $13.9 billion in 2010, but unfortunately came to a halt due to the global financial crisis. Then it decreased to $12.6 billion in the past 2 years, said UN Officials.
The Bottom Line
At present, Nigeria needs to take all the necessary steps to ensure that is academic system is improved significantly so that Nigerian children can get the education they deserve and build their future.
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