‘How to fix poor education system in Northeast’
The Northeast has been identified by the Center for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) as the most educational disadvantaged region in the country.
Disclosing this to participants at a two-day workshop on ‘male adult literacy rate’ in Gombe, the Senior Programme Manager of CITAD, Kabiru Saidu Dakata, said, “all states in the region have lower than national average rates, with Yobe and Borno have the lowest with 31.9% and 35.1% respectively.”
The resource persons also noted that the corresponding “figures for female adult literacy are 14.9 and 18.0% respectively for the two states. The performances of the states in both NECO and WAEC as made known by him have been the lowest of in the country.”
According to him, a survey showed that percentage of children between six and 16 years who have never attended school has high prevalence in the following states: Borno 72 per cent, Yobe 58 per cent and Bauchi 52 per cent. He stressed that “only about 20% of all school age girls get to attend school.”
Prominent among the several factors that contribute to this, as stated by him are poor funding of education, corruption, lack of accountability by policymakers as well as lack of capacity by civil society organizations (CSOs) and journalists to demand for accountability and engage properly with the policy makers.
The need for both journalists and the CSOs to go extra legitimate miles to hold government accountable, he said, has become necessary for the growth of education in the region.
Stressing that accountability of public officials is the cornerstone of good governance and democracy, the need for the CSOs and media practitioners to get the people involved in monitoring government performance, demanding and enhancing transparency and exposing government failures and misdeeds, he said can no longer be overemphasized.
Also speaking on the role of journalists in promoting social accountability, a university teacher, Maude Rabiu Gwadabe, enjoined the media to hold tenaciously to the ethics of their profession by exposing societal ills.
The workshop, which brought together journalists and CSOs from the six states of the Northeast zone, was organized by CITAD and funded by the United States Agency for International Development Agency (USAID).