President Bio, the champion of Free Quality Education and his Basis Education Minister were centre stage last week at the UN for the impressive strides the country has taken since 2018 in reviving and rehabilitating an educational system that had become dysfunctional and producing tons of unwanted graduates at secondary and tertiary levels.
We thus understand President Bio’s avid desire to design a new educational system that is geared towards the needs of nation building and national development through the FQE, revamping of the educational infrastructure including curriculum reforms, seeking of greater international assistance, etc.
Yet there are challenge of reaching the true purpose of education – which is to provide learners the opportunity to acquire useful knowledge and skills that make them meaningful contributions to personal and societal development. We start with the place of the teacher who if not well motivated would do his/her work half-heartedly.
Timely payment of teachers’ salaries and consideration for medical, housing, transport and remote posting allowances would go a long way in motivating teachers to give their best in the classroom. Another consideration in transforming education is school buildings and equipment.
The provision of school textbooks and exercise books is not enough. The vast majority of schools have no science and technology labs, as well as libraries to enhance learning at the secondary levels.
Obviously, all these educational transformation require huge capital over a long period of time.
Given the competing needs for limited national revenue, would the Government continue to fund education and its transformation adequately; as the numbers under the FQE will continue to rise in the coming years?