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Garden City hosts Nigeria Education Week to stimulate sector’s growth


Nyesom Wike

Education and development are not only inextricably interwoven; they are mutually reinforcing and interdependent and the most important vehicle and foundation of all development of many communities and nations of the world.  Besides, education has been found to empower and reduce poverty.

However, there are several challenges confronting the sector, which include access and enrolment, equity, quality, funding, inadequate infrastructures, poor remuneration of staff, incessant strike actions as well as shortage of high-skilled manpower needed for the sustenance of vibrant universities among others.

It is against this background that eminent Nigerians drawn from the education sector, including academia, both private, public and educational service providers will converge on Port Harcourt, Rivers State capital in the last quarter of the year to fashion out the way forward for the nation’s education system.

The event, tagged Nigeria Education Week (NEW) 2017, is being put together by Books and Sports Limited, in partnership with The Guardian.

The programme is designed to bring people together to deliberate on ways of enhancing and improving the sector. The weeklong event will focus primarily on key issues such as challenges facing education development, implementing government policies on the sector as well as funding and government interventions.

Other issues to be interrogated are quality assurance and standards, advancement centres in our universities – the role, employability and alumni and the role of Public-Private Partnerships in education development.

Discussants will include national and international stakeholders who would develop a more robust roadmap to education development delivery in the country.

Besides, donor agencies and foreign organisations would be in attendance to discuss issues pertaining to financial support and grants to the nation’s tertiary institutions.

Some of the programmes earmarked for the five-day summit include seminar on the nation’s education system, exhibition of books and educational materials as well as launch of a three-volume ‘Compendium on Nigerian Universities,” which will comprise interviews, articles, university listing and advertisements.

The programme will climax with NEW 2017 Dinner and Award Night, where 20 top universities in the country and individuals who have imparted the sector would be honoured.

According to the chairman, organising committee, Prof Sidi Osho, education is essential for any country or region to reach the necessary level of sustainable economic and social development.

In order to reform and transform our educational sector, Osho, a former vice chancellor of Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti (ABUAD) said it is important for the summit to hold periodically, to evaluate and discuss with relevant stakeholders in the sector.

While reminding that education is the springboard for societal and global development, Prof. Osho said it is important to appreciate and applause the drivers of education programmes, especially institutions that are imparting lives, communities and the nation at large.

She explained that the choice of the capital city of Port Harcourt as host is influenced by Governor Nyesom Wike’s unflinching commitment to the development of education in the country as evident in his strides as the Minister of State for Education and supervising Minister of Education during which initiatives such as the introduction and construction of electronic libraries in federal Unity Colleges, training of over one million basic education teachers, facilitation of N1.3 trillion intervention fund for public universities and execution of the Almajiri Education Programme among others were implanted.

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Nyesom Wike
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