Stakeholders in the education sector want the incoming government to provide more funding, upskill teachers, and put an end to incessant strikes, among others, to revitalise the sector.
Busayo Aderounmu, a senior lecturer at Covenant University, described education as a critical sector that the government needs to prioritise.
She said: “The sector lacks adequate facilities and funding. There should be more funding for research and the provision of critical infrastructural facilities and equipment.
“In addition, educators should also be receiving training from time to time to make them on par with their counterparts across the globe, and their welfare should be prioritised. The world has gone beyond theories taught in the classroom; so the curriculum needs to be improved to accommodate the practical aspect of the subject taught.”
Oyinlola Oguntola, a postgraduate student at the University of Lagos, wants the incoming government to create funds and foundations that sponsor academic research.
Oguntola tasks the new government to ensure that funding trickles down to the target audience.
She said: “The incoming government must create independent bodies or foundations that would monitor projects put in place to improve the factor.
“The academic staff salaries must be increased to prevent future strikes. Moreover, they need to improve the education syllabus. I think it boils down to remuneration and research funding. These are critical things that I think will move the education sector forward.”
Arthur Amokeoja, a postgraduate student, demands that the next government should have the political will to ensure strike actions by unions of tertiary institutions become a thing of the past.
“There should also be an upward review of budgetary allocation for the sector to move forward,” he said.
Bola Tinubu, who emerged as the presidential-elect, had said in his manifesto that if elected, he would review the education curriculum at all levels to meet the emerging global best practices and socio-economic realities.
Tinubu assured Nigerians that his government would ensure that there is a new accreditation requirement for teachers in federally funded primary and secondary schools.
According to him, standardised teacher training courses and examinations will be introduced, with minimum standards strictly enforced. “This is to prepare teachers for success in their essential profession; the government will support comprehensive professional development programmes.”
The manifesto said: “A Tinubu administration will rationalise the governance structures, funding, and compensation structures of tertiary institutions. For the near and medium term, the government must provide the bulk of funding for our tertiary institutions.
“Through new legislation, the government will establish a special education fund consisting of zero-coupon federal bonds. Through various mechanisms, bonds will be sold in tranches to private investors or purchased in market clearing exercises by the CBN. This will help fund the universities while reducing the per capita tuition cost increase felt by the average student.”
Friday Erhabor, director of media and strategy at Marklenez Limited, expects the education sector to improve under Tinubu.
He said: “Based on his antecedent in Lagos State, I believe that the education sector will be better off for it. When he was governor he introduced free West African Examinations Council enrolment for students in Lagos schools, both indigenes and non-indigenes.
“There was also no history of teachers’ strikes during his tenure, coupled with what Remi Tinubu, his wife, did with one-day governor competition for Lagos schools.”
Tinubu has promised to invest in the infrastructure of the country’s educational institutions and provide adequate resources that improve the educational environment in which children are taught if elected.
“We will make sure federally funded primary and secondary schools are safe, comfortable, and sufficiently equipped as facilities for teaching and learning. We will prioritise the use of computers/internet services and other technology-based learning resources in schools,” the manifesto said.