By Adeola Oladele, Ibadan
Stakeholders have called for collaboration to urgently address the challenges confronting the education sector in the country in order to achieve national development.
The call was made by wife of the Secretary to the Oyo State Government (SSG), Mrs. Bolanle Alli, while speaking as the special guest of honour at the maiden valedictory service held for the 2015/2017 graduating class of the National Teachers’ Institute (NTI), Kaduna, Ibadan Study Centre at Federal School of Agriculture, Moor Plantation, Apata, Ibadan at the weekend.
While speaking further on the sidelines of the event, Mrs. Alli said that there must be a shift from merely taking about the problems to actually addressing them if results must be achieved.
She added that the education sector needed to be restructured and could only be done by collective effort from both private and public sectors.
Describing knowledge as power, Mrs. Alli equally urged teachers in the teaching sector to be worthy role models as expected of them by imparting good academic knowledge on their students.
She, however, lauded the state government under the administration of Governor Abiola Ajimobi for making education in the state a thing of pride, owing to the massive transformation of the sector and the impressive performance of students in public examinations in the state.
Earlier in an address of welcome by the pioneer manager of the Ibadan study centre of NTI, Dr. (Mrs.) Ronke Ojo, she blamed the woes in the education sector on policy inconsistency, inadequate funding and poor facilities, while appealing to the Nigerian government to commit more funds to education, adding that poor funding was responsible for the output of Nigerian graduates both at the full-time and distance learning programmes.
Dr. (Mrs.) Ojo, who is also the wife of Dr. “Gbade Ojo, the Chief of Staff to the Oyo State Governor, further pointed out that there was nothing wrong if the National Teachers’ Institute was so much supported financially to start its own campuses at least one in each state of the federation for a start instead of having to contend with hostility from host institutions.
She disclosed that higher education has become a priority for all teachers in Nigeria, saying that it has now become the best practices globally.
“In the time past, GRD11 Teacher Certificate was the glory of teaching profession. But now that the Federal Government of Nigeria has mandated that the least teaching certificate in primary schools should be NCE. However, for the UBE which now comprises of Primary and Secondary Schools, it has become mandatory for teachers to upgrade their knowledge and acquire higher certificate in education.”
“National Teachers’ Institute in affiliation with the National Open University of Nigeria has made it possible by taking up a giant stride in the commencement of degree programme though distance learning. This was made a reality in 2015 with the first set of degree students offering Social Studies, Primary Education Science, Integrated Science, English Language and Mathematics,” Dr. (Mrs) Ojo added.
The study centre manager then recommended the programme for all teachers who were still holding on to NCE certificates as a veritable tool to develop themselves academically, adding that latest development in education might make their certificates irrelevant in their near future.
Also in a remark, the study centre state coordinator, Dr. (Mrs.) Bosede Oyinlola stated that learning in all its spheres would always be one of the most valuable skills in any individual personal and professional life, stressing that building and sustaining these skills were very significant as education impacts skills for a life time development
“I am confident to state that education remains the best legacy. Towards the development of any society, there is an existential inclination to acquire knowledge by above-average individuals with the aim of weathering the storm of trouble water of life,” She empahised.
However, a total of 154 students were graduated, which included Mathematics department-10 graduands, Primary Education department -53 graduands, Integrated Science department-14 graduands, English Language deparment-21 graduands and Social Studies department with 56 graduands.