Some stakeholders have advised the new education ministers to be inaugurated on Monday by President Bola Tinubu to take their jobs serious and not repeat the errors and mistakes of the past.
They include parents under the aegis of the National Parent Teacher Association of Nigeria (NAPTAN), the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), and the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP).
The National President of NAPTAN, Alhaji Haruna Danjuma, noted that Prof. Tahir Mamman, the Minister of Education and Alhaji Yusuf Sununu, the Minister of State, Education, should know that they are assuming office at a critical period in the history of Nigeria.
“While we wish them well and success in the task before them, we are advising them to study the situation critically. Education Ministry is vast and needs adequate attention. Please we wish you well, but don’t repeat the mistakes and errors of the recent past when the sector was embroiled in serious crisis.
“The situation was so bad that our children spent more time at home than in school. That should not happen again. Now, the sector is facing serious challenges. The economy is not in good shape, many parents have lost sources of incomes. They should call a meeting of critical stakeholders in the sector and let us rub minds on how to move the sector forward,” he suggested.
On his part the National President of ASUP, Dr Anderson Ezeibe, noted, “From our findings, the new minister designate is eminently qualified to head the Federal Ministry of Education. We see from his profile that he has significant experience at the highest level of tertiary education management. The current issues at the basic education level border on the issue of out of school children in the country. The numbers are not going to get better with the worsening economic situation in the country. Indeed he has a lot of work to do there.
“At the tertiary level, issues bordering on sustainable funding, acceptable wage structure for staff, infrastructure deficit, violations of laws and extant regulations are all issues of urgent concern.
“For the Polytechnic system, it is important that he takes verifiable steps to address the issue of certification by reviewing the current status of HND and it’s possible replacement with a Bachelor of Technology certification (for qualified Polytechnics), while retaining the OND certification for skills and artisanal certification in the sector. This will put the HND/degree dichotomy issue to rest
“The solution to the challenges in the education sector requires the different layers of stakeholders to commit to the restoration of proper values to the sector. Prudent management of scarce resources, appropriate and deserving wage structures, improvement in funding, respect for laws, statutes and regulations are the path to restoration of the education sector to its lost glory.”
On his part, the Southwest Coordinator of NANS, Comrade Alao John, urged the ministers to be focused.
“They should be focused in handling the responsibilities ahead of them. The sector should be given priority attention. Education has been bastardised and it must be reformed. As students, we would be happy if the new ministers would lead the charge to reform the sector. We believe they can do it and we are ready to support them,” he stated.
The Education Minister, Prof. Mamman, was the Director General of the Nigerian Law School from 2008 to 2013.