By Friday Idachaba
The Inclusive Forum for Accountable Society (IFAS) has called on Kogi Government to declare state of emergency in the education sector of the state in view of the level of dilapidation and decay.
IFAS, an initiative of ActionAid Nigeria and its implementing partners, Participation Initiative for Behavioural Change In Development (PIBCID) made the call at its quarterly meeting on Saturday in Lokoja.
The members, who expressed concern over the state of primary and secondary education in the state, said the situation demanded the declaration of a state of emergency.
Hamza Aliyu, chairman of the forum and Executive Director, Initiative for Grassroots Advancement (INGRA) said the discuss centred on the education because the future of Kogi was at stake in view of the present situation of the sector.
“The problem is the quality of education and the quantum of resources put into education as well as the legal framework and evaluation system,” he said.
Aliyu also noted that the public sector screening embarked upon by the Gov. Yahaya Bello’s “New Direction” government had adverse impact on the teachers.
He said that a lot them affected by the screening exercise as a result of one problem or the other, were removed resulting in dearth of teachers, especially among schools in rural communities.
“There is a lacuna here and that gap is affecting the quality of education; our children are getting at community level,” he said.
Earlier in her opening speech, Halima Sadiq, Actionaid Nigeria Project Manager and acting Executive Director, (PIBCID), said the state government’s annual budgetary allocations to education did not show any political will to improve the quality.
Sadiq said: “The issue of education is a very serious one. It is a known fact that ignorance breeds and remains one of the drivers of violence and we believe education is the cure.
She regretted that the state of public schools in most of the communities did not portray education as such.
The PIBCID acting Executive Director therefore, called on the state government to do the needful and declare a state of emergency in the state’s education sector.
Me John Amabi, a member of the forum noted that primary and secondary education lost the grip with introduction of the screening and therefore, urged Bello, in the new dispensation, to address the issue.
Mr Sanni Mohammed, Director Budget, Budget Office hinted that there had always been adequate budgetary provision for the education sector but the problem was that of release of the allocation for intended purposes.(NAN)