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Ezekwwesili identifies causes of public education collapse in Nigeria



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A former Minister of Education, Dr Oby Ezekwesili, on Friday in Lagos identified
poor management and low quality of teachers as some of the factors that contributed ‎to the collapse of public education in Nigeria.

Ezekwesili said this at the 12th annual Gani Fawehinmi lecture and symposium organised by the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Ikeja Branch.

The theme of the lecture is: “The Collapse of Public Education, the past, present, and future prospects of the Nigerian State’’.

Ezekwesil said:“Poor management and low quality of teachers are some of the causes of the collapse of public
education in the country.

“Focusing on the governance of education will make you focus on the outcome and what was used in producing the outcomes‎.

“The components used in producing the outcomes, include the quality of teachers, the curriculum, classroom, among others, which would make one focus on how to determine the cost and who carry the bills.”

The former minister pointed out that public education was a shared responsibility between the Federal, State and Local Governments in the country.

According to her, the federal government provides leadership for the other tiers of government through policy formulation and quality control through the Federal Ministry of Education.

Ezekwesili, however, noted that the education sector had been declining in quality in spite of increased budgetary provision to the sector.

“This shows that funding education is different from investing in education,’’ she said.

According to Ezekwesili, no matter the structures of the school, textbooks, funds, and ICT put in place, if the quality of the teachers is poor, the quality of graduate turnout will ‎be poor also.

“The performance of teachers and the early preparation of students will promote economic growth on the basis of human capital,’’ she said.


Also speaking, Mr Femi Falana (SAN) called for free education at all level in the country.

He also urged the Nigeria Bar Association to launch a national campaign aimed at picking children from the streets back to school.

Falana said the campaign should start from Lagos State, stressing “ the government should be held accountable.”

“Fawehinmi fought for free education in his lifetime and demonstrated this by awarding scholarships to 40 students annually which was sustained by his family.

“If Fawehinmi can do it, the Nigerian government can do it,’’ he said.