Increasing access to learning through responsible leadership
The need to address the crisis in the country’s education system, through responsible leadership informed the 2017 Nigerian Institute Of Public Relations (NIPR) stakeholders’ conference in Lagos.
Specifically, the conference with the theme, “Media, communication and the challenge of quality education for national development,” seeks to chat a new course towards widening access to quality education for all citizens. Increasing access to quality and affordable education, the speakers believe will accelerate national development and create room for a saner society.
Speakers at the forum insisted that leadership and good management at all levels of the sector is imperative, adding that all hands must be on deck in addressing the challenges.
They also emphasised the need for various media organisations to continually project positive image of the country through responsible leadership as failure to do so will allow foreign media bodies to perpetually tell negative stories about the country.
They also tasked the media to advocate for values that will promote provision of quality education in all the communities across the country and improve standards in teaching and learning.
Chairman, Lagos state chapter of NIPR, Olusegun Mcmedal, in his remarks said the Lagos NIPR stakeholders’ conference, which is fourth in the series “is a high-end thought-leadership talk-shop to proffer solutions to the endemic challenges plaguing the education sector.”
He said, “We all know that there is crisis in our education system. But the crisis is not that of money, men, morale or resources; the real crisis lies in leadership, management and perennial selfishness. The future of a state or nation is a function of the quality of education obtainable in the society. We should never feel satisfied until all Nigerians have access to quality education for the nation to prosper, achieve and excel. I hope that the message from this congress will resonate with political leadership.
“There is an obvious depreciation in the quality of education obtainable in Nigeria today when compared to the past. Currently, the Nigerian education system is renowned for its out-dated syllabus, inadequate funding, epileptic power supply, poorly motivated staff and substandard facilities. That no Nigerian university was ranked in the top 500 and only one in the top 1,000 in the 2017 Times Higher Education World Ranking of University facilities is indeed very worrisome to say the least. The best Nigerian University was ranked just 601.”
Also, Founder and Chairman Silverbird Group, Senator Ben Murray Bruce, charged media organisations to educate the public and mobilise them to take up their own part in making Nigeria great.
He said in these days of fake news, hate speech and alternative facts, the media as a vehicle for projecting information about things that have happened, happening or will happen should not depend on others to tell our own story.
Founder/Chairman, Chrisland Group of Schools, High Chief Winifred Awosika, remarked that any nation that will survive 21st century challenges must not pay lip service to the issue of quality in education.