Some Civil Society organisations on Friday called on the Federal Government to increase budgetary allocation to the education sector.

The CSOs, BudgIT, Public and Private Development Centre (PPDC) and Basic Rights Watch (BRW), during a joint press briefing in Abuja on Wednesday, said that allocation to the education sector in the last three years had declined.

The conference was on education funding, access to funds and accountability process and recommendations for agencies under the education ministry.

BudgIT’s Lead Partner, Seun Onigbinde, who spoke on behalf of the civil society organisations, said the challenges in the sector was worrisome.

According to him, the development of the sector rests largely on adequate funding and proper monitoring of the use of funds.

He said it was unfortunate that funds set aside for intervention are not accessed by state governments.

Onigbinde said: “Over the years, allocation to the education sector have stalled below 11 percent, falling short to the 15-20 percent Incheon Declaration benchmark. In the last three years, allocations to the education ministry, as a percentage of the federal budget, has even declined.

“It must be noted that the development of the education sector rests largely on adequate funding and proper monitoring of the use of funds. Unfortunately, funds set as intervention are not accessed by state governments.

“With this in mind, we call on state governments to prioritise education by accessing funds to help develop the sector. Intervention funds to improve education through the tertiary education trust fund (TETFund) and universal basic education commission (UBEC) should be accessed by state governments and tertiary institutions respectively, as they must fulfill the requirements.”

He called on the Federal Government to spearhead urgent reforms which are needed in the sector.

Onigbinde noted that the rot in sector could be seen in the quality and performances of Nigerian pupils.

He said Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, has a lot to do in order to revamp the sector and should not only talk about declaring a state of emergency on it.

Onigbinde said Nigerians need to raise questions about the inconsistency of the government in the education sector, so as to awaken them to their responsibilities.

He said: “We have talked about the colourless administration of the current authorities at the Ministry of Education. We have not seen genuine reforms in the education sector. The government itself in 2018 talked about an emergency situation in education. They didn’t need to declare an emergency in advance. We expected them to start addressing the emergency immediately. But it simply shows that education has yet to become a priority for the government.

“The rot in the education sector is generational and you can see the quality of pupils from schools and graduates from universities. This was not so in the last 20 or 30 years.

“Hence we need to raise our voices and ask questions from the government. How have we funded the education? Is it adequately? We have money sitting in the federal purse through the Universal Basic Education Commission but you see some states not accessing the funds, because you tell them to bring the counterpart funding.”

In a joint release, the civil society organisations recommended that “the federal and state governments should prioritise education by creating a soft landing for states to enable access to the UBEC grants.”

“For Nigeria to reverse the trend of education decline, we call on the Federal Government to align budgetary allocations with the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation’s standard,” the CSOs added.

Get more stories like this on Twitter

AD: To get thousands of free final year project topics and other project materials sorted by subject to help with your research [click here]


More Stories