The Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu has said President Muhammadu Buhari is yet to fulfill his 2015 campaign promises for the education sector.
It would be recalled that the administration of Gov. Nasir El Rufa'i came under attacks, recently, especially from the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) over plans by the governor to sack at least 21, 780 primary school teachers, who could not pass a competency test.
The retreat was organised to proffer solution to the challenges facing the Nigerian education sector at the State House Conference Centre, in Abuja. If you didn't do well, they never spared the rod. And then, I listened to one of the Nigerians I respect. It is a very, very serious situation, when teachers can not pass their exams that they are supposed to teach the children to pass. "It is a very tragic situation we are in and this our gathering together to me is one of the most important in this administration".
He listed other approaches to be adopted for the redemption of the state of education to include: training of teachers, facilitating access to higher education and eliminating factors that can stop Nigeria from attaining its economic potentials among the comity of nations.
He lamented the bad condition of the sector, with 13.2 million children out of school.
"We are determined to turnaround the sector for the better". This summit must therefore, among other things, sharpen our strategies for addressing the challenges of basic and secondary education, teacher training and professional development; technical and vocational education.
Mr. Buhari said all his efforts are justifiable "only to the extent that schooling is effective in promoting the realisation of national objectives, attaining the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and Education For All (EFA) by 2030". "My firm belief is that with the calibre of participants at this summit, the road to a better future is before us and we must chart it".
In his remarks, the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, advocated declaration of state of emergency in education so as to achieve the desired goals in the sector.
"Such a denial can lead to a number of undesirable consequences, the most pernicious of which are value erosion and character failure among the youths who are supposed to become leaders of the society".
"We can not afford to continue lagging behind".
The minister noted that for education to be revived in Nigeria, the government should consider special incentives such as scholarships and automatic employment for education graduates.
However, Buhari while decrying the rot in the sector, said Nigeria could not progress beyond the level and standard of its current educational system. If we give regulatory agencies the teeth to bite and do their work, mediocre teachers will soon disappear from our classrooms.