NIGER, 2 Others to Benefit From World Bank Education Global Practice Program
Niger State and two others are to benefit from the World Bank, Education Global Practice program. The others are Edo and Kebbi States.
Indication to this came to the fore in Abuja on Wednesday when Governor Abubakar Sani-Bello of Niger State, Godwin Obaseki – Edo State and Atiku Bagudu – Kebbi state held a meeting with the global apex bank Senior Director, Dr. Jaime Saveedra on the program.
The modalities for the program which will last for four years are being worked out with the global apex bank by the benefiting states.
Speaking at the meeting, Governor Sani-Bello of Niger State expressed concern over the lack of funds required to revamp the education sector in the country but maintained that the improvement of the professional status of teachers and the restoration of their “glory” will be a step to solving the crises in the sector.
He also said that the massive infrastructural and technical deficiency in the sector, must be addressed along with adequate and sustainable funding to enable the revival of the sector.
The Governor who noted that the teaching profession has lost its reputation and quality stressed the need for prompt action to be taken especially in bridging the gap and restoring the glory of the profession in order motivate teachers for optimal performance.
“We must find ways to ensure that teaching as a profession regain its glory, we must bring back the prestige in teaching. There has to be a lot of awareness campaign on this and we also have to work on teacher’s income in order to motivate them.
“There is need to focus on how to improve teacher’s welfare and ensuring their training and re-retraining because we are concerned about the deteriorating nature of education in the country so there is need for something to be done.
“Over time the teaching profession has been neglected therefore there is need to find ways to improve the prestige in teaching.” He emphasized.
Governor Sani-Bello then disclosed that his administration has established teacher’s institutes to groom students with passion for teaching profession at early stage of their lives and to be posted to their comminities to render teaching service.
He also said that unqualified teachers who are already in the system are being retrained to equip with modern teaching methodology and global best practices.
On efforts at improving the girl child education, the governor said plans are afoot to establish new schools in order to bring schools closer to communities so that children in different wards can access primary and secondary education.
Meanwhile the Senior Director, Education Global Practice of the World Bank, Dr. Jaime Saavedra identified inadequate funding as the major challenge in the educational sector of the country.
He noted that though the deterioration in education is global, the apex bank director stressed the need for governments at all levels to allocate 20 percent of annual budgetary allocation to the sector.
The World Bank Country Director Mr Rachid Benmessaoud also advised that if Nigeria must improve her education sector, deliberate efforts should be made not to politicize the sector, rather exact political will to engage all stakeholders for the improvement of the sector.