Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, has lamented the present state of education in the country, saying children still learn under trees in some schools in the country.
Adamu, who made this known during the inauguration of the Governing Board of National Senior Secondary Education Commission (NSSEC) on Thursday in Abuja, put the blame at the doorsteps of governors.
“Most secondary schools and primary education are at their lowest ebb,” Adamu said, adding that he has made presentations to President Muhammadu Buhari and other relevant authorities on the need to declare a state of emergency in the education sector.
“If you go about 500 kilometres along the road, you will see in some of these secondary schools and in some places pupils learning or not learning under trees and it is so pathetic.”
He said the declaration of emergency in the education sector, if okayed by the government, would give states access to more funds for education as well as easily put in place policies and laws that would ensure speedy educational development.
He said the decision to set up NSSEC was to address the vacuum that was noticed at the secondary level of education.
“Looking at the fact that senior secondary education, was the only sub-sector that operated without functional regulatory or intervention body, I sought for the approval of President Muhammed Buhari for the resuscitation of the National Senior Secondary Education Commission (NSSEC) and this was approved.
” However, the scope is now restricted to the senior secondary level taking cognisance of the existence of UBEC which regulates the junior secondary level.
” The Commission is saddled with the responsibilities of prescribing the National Minimum Standard, promoting and regulating senior secondary education both in public and private schools as well as providing financial intervention for states,” he said.
The minister called on the governing board to ensure prudent and judicious management of limited funds and respect the principle of Federal Character in the appointment of members of staff.
“You must comply with all relevant government guidelines and extant policies in addition to ensuring transparency, probity and due process in all its endeavours,” he said.
On his part, the Executive Secretary of NSSEC, Dr Benjamin Abakpa, said the establishment of the Commission has brought a huge relief to the Secondary Education level, considering the fact that other levels of education such as Basic and Tertiary have intervention bodies.
“As you all may be aware, the mandate of NSSEC as stipulated in section 6 of NSSEC Act of 1999 includes amongst others: Prescribing National Minimum Standards and regulating the Senior
Secondary Education in Nigeria:
“Managing the National Senior Secondary Education Fund; and
Inquiring into and advising the Federal Government on the funding
of Senior Secondary Education in Nigeria,” he said.
PlatinumPost reports that the NSSEC governing board has Mrs. Nimota Akande as Chairman.