Ezekwesili blames falling education standard on system failure

By Wahab Akanji, Abuja 

A former Minister of Education, Obiageli Ezekwesili, has blamed the poor standard of education in Nigeria on systemic failure. According to her, the current system does not support the quality and relevance of education received by Nigerians to meet the needs of the society. 

She listed the mismatch between time spent on education by Nigerians and the value that is placed on that time by the market does not match. 

Ezekwesili, who spoke in Abuja at the opening of Nigerian Education Innovation Summit (NEDIS) 2016, called for an overhaul of the education system by the Federal Government. 

The former minister, who admitted that the rot in the sector had been there even when she was a minister, warned that the country would be in serious trouble if it failed to correct it. 

She said: “You have got to look at education as a system that got the input, the output, the outcome and your measurement of what the impact and the outcome really stands for. When you do that then you realize we are in serious trouble. We have been in serious trouble since the time I was minister of education. 

“The fact that access to education eludes tens of millions of our children, the fact that for those that do get education, the quality and relevance of the education they get does not match the needs of the society and therefore there is a mismatch between their own time spent on education and the value that is placed on that time by the market that should be demanding for their skills and knowledge and their competences. 

“That shows you that whether it is access, whether it is in terms of the value of education, we have a systemic failure and we must overhaul it. It is important that we encourage an inclusive approach in thinking about education. 

“When we did the diagnostics to the problems of education as of that time, 2006, we had to generate 436 elements of reforms that you will need to do in other to move the Nigerian education system from the dysfunctionality that it was then – still is now if not was, to a system that produces world class human capital for our country.” 

Earlier, the Managing Director, The Education Partnership Centre, Dr. Modupe Adefeso-Olateju, urged the federal government to scale up the sector to have impact on Nigerians.

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