Education must be prioritized, says Osinbajo

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Tuesday said that the education sector must be given the needed attention at all times since it is critical for the development of any nation.

He made the remark during the opening of two-day workshop on sustainable funding of Nigeria's education sector at the old Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Osinbajo, who was represented by Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udo Udoma, said that government must give priority to funding of education and how to deliver quality education to its citizens.

"Education is very important. It is critical to the development of any nation. Therefore, all governments must give priority to how best to achieve quality education," he said.

According to him, adequate funding and strategic planning are knitted and must be pursued together.
He said that the President Muhammadu Buhari's administration has perpetually increased funding for the education sector.

He said: "We have consistently supported the education sector by raising its budget every year since we came on board. For instance in the first budget that we did, we took up the capital allocation for education to N35.99 billion in 2016.

"Then in 2017 we took it up to N56.81 billion and this year 2018, the current capital budget for education is N102.9 billion" he said.

The Vice President also urged participants to come up with innovative ways by which increased funding of education can be achieved in Nigeria.

The Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu said that there was need to also focus on teachers' training to make the profession more attractive and to enhance the quality of education at all levels.

Adamu emphasized the need for adequate funding and planning, in the quest to move the education sector forward, adding that sustaining the sector is a responsibility of all.

"The main problem actually is, if a teacher doesn't get a very good pre-service training, he is not likely to offer anything useful to his pupils or students. Education is a responsibility of all and I call on the State and Local Governments, our agencies, parastatals and indeed all Nigerians to join hands, so that we will be able to raise the funds needed to fund education," the Minister appealed.

Speaking earlier, Mr Harnas Chandy, who gave a goodwill message on behalf of the World Bank, commended Nigeria for taking timely steps that will help determine Nigeria's education plans and spending.

He said countries have to move fast to improve the quality of education by making the right investments on education.

He said Nigeria is a global key player that has to play its critical role at all times.

"The world needs to improve. There are some key players in the world and Nigeria is a key player in the world; Nigeria is a key global player and for the world to do well, Nigeria has to do well," he stressed.

Chandy however lamented that fifty percent of children in school across the globe were not getting the needed education.

The workshop was attended by critical stakeholders in education from the thirty six states of the federation.

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