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FG, States collaborating to get over 10m out-of-school children into classrooms- Osinbajo

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…Calls for reform of basic education

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has disclosed that the federal government, with the collaboration of State governments, have undertaken an ambitious programme to get the over 10 million out-of-school children into schools.

According to him, this will be helped by the President’s June 20 declaration, adding that It is a complex process requiring the full cooperation of State governments and religious authorities as well as the resources to build schools, equip them properly and train the required number of teachers.

Osinbajo, who stated this at a symposium to mark the 40th anniversary of the 1979 Economics class of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), in Lagos, said there is urgent need to reform the education sector at the basic level, adding that when there are better-trained teachers, the education sector would fair better.

He said: “Our focus in the next four years would be to lay and implement a relevant and dynamic educational plan for Nigeria.

When I say relevant, I mean a plan capable of providing jobs and entrepreneurial skills for an increasingly globally competitive job market.

“Federal Government consider the matter of basic education a matter of national emergency. Consequently it is the role of the Federal Government to guide, to inspire, to coordinate, co-fund and also co-implement the basic education strategy.”

Further speaking, the Vice President noted that evidence from around the world and domestically, has shown that the quality of educational outcomes is very much dependent on the quality of teaching.

He said: “It is evident that the quality of teachers is one of the most crucial things that can be done in the sector. Some of the countries that we have studied shows that anywhere there is high performing teachers, the quality of students is almost three times better than those with low performing teachers.

Almost one-third of teaching staff in public primary schools do not have the right qualifications, while the ratio is half of those in private primary schools. This is an intriguing fact given that one would expect private schools to be better resourced than public schools.

To this end, the NCE will be revamped to raise the calibre of new teachers and principals, give continuous professional development and link teacher training to a revised curriculum using a scripted approach.

We are working with relevant organizations and bodies to draw up re-certification requirements while working with the Nigeria Teachers Institute to refine existing NCE qualification and to raise the status of the teaching profession.

“This entire process will be supported by incentives such as recognition, improved pay for teachers and opportunities for further professional development.”

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