One of the factors that build the human capacity of any organization is networking and attending seminars and workshops to gain more experience and knowledge. We at Basic Rights Watch do not take these opportunities for granted as it helps in building our human capacity and organizational social capital.
In the light of the above, we had the opportunity of attending a One Day Education Summit organized by BudgIT at Transcorp Hilton Abuja.
BudgIT is a civic organization that applies technology to intersect citizen engagement with institutional improvement, to facilitate societal change. A pioneer in the field of social advocacy melded with technology, BudgIT uses an array of tech tools to simplify the budget and matters of public spending for citizens, with the primary aim of raising standard of transparency and accountability in government.
The program was opened with introduction from the Team Lead of Budgit Mr. Oluseun Onigbinde, a very resourceful man who explained on the need for the Education Summit as a result of fast decaying nature of the Nigerian educational system which demands urgent attention, emphasizing that the cheat code of developed countries is education.
Mr. Oluseun went further to posit that a well educated and healthy workforce is important if Nigeria hopes to reverse the trend of decline and realign its economy to inclusive growth. For students that cannot get into tertiary education system, the other pathways to knowledge through vocational training do not exist. The Nigerian economy is in dearth need of technical skills. The Proposed 2018 budget calls for total spending of N254.49bn, which is grossly inadequate given the severity of the challenges in the sector.
More so, there is a disconnect between the quality of education being delivered in the Nigerian school system and the educational needs of the economy and society. He went further to say that the key issues with the educational sector are demographic challenge, poor quality of education, and access to higher education amongst others.
UBEC and TETFund are failing to close the rapid expanding gaps
Moving on from there, the representative of Tetfund Dr. Salihu Bakare took to the stage to explain the role that TETFund is playing in reducing the challenges of the higher educational system in Nigeria. He emphasized that TETFund is not a funding agency but an intervention agency. Dr. Bakare went further to say that between 2011 & 2016, there was 273 billion that was not utilized by beneficiary tertiary institutions. This has amounted in the decay of most tertiary institutions.
Furthermore, there was a panel session between the Team Lead of BudgIT and a representative of JAMB, where questions were raised and tackled by the representative from the JAMB office.
The summit was concluded with another panel discussion held with representatives of the MacArthur Foundation education project beneficiaries who explained the roles they are playing in solving the problem of the education sector at their various levels.
Again, this summit is an asset to our organization because it has showed us more entry points in implementing our project with the tertiary institutions. Education is a fundamental factor in the development of any nation and we are leaving no stone unturned in ensuring that the higher educational sector is reformed.
Eunice Enoch is a Program Assistant at Basic Rights Watch
Follow here @EuniceEnoch1