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Private sector key to development of education, say Osinbajo, Sanwo-Olu


Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo. Photo/Twitter/ProfOsinbajo

Ex-minister flays emphasis on paper qualification, exam malpractices
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said while the Federal Ministry of Education was making attempt to revamp the sector through its strategic plan, the private sector remains a key ally in supporting development of education in the country.

He said the private sector has been at the forefront of lifting the sector through continuous investment in educational infrastructure, encouragement of teachers and students as well as the entire value chain in the country.

Osinbajo, who was represented by the Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Uwajiuba, stated this at the 2019 Maltina Teacher of the Year award.

The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) retained the award for the second time, as Collins Ezem, a Christian Religious and Civic Education teacher at Royal Family Academy, Wuse, Abuja, emerged winner for his innovative approach to teaching.

He said rejigging the education sector was a strategic plan aimed at revamping the sector, which involves addressing out-of-school issues, strengthening basic and secondary education, training and retraining of teachers, as well as addressing adult literacy challenges.

Osinbajo, who congratulated the winner and other finalists on their recognition, urged them and their colleagues to be more committed to their profession, commended the Nigerian Breweries for providing the platform to celebrate teachers and changing the cliché that ‘teachers reward is in heaven’.

Also speaking, Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Sanwo-Olu, who was represented by the Commissioner for Education, Folasade Adefisayo, said teachers remain critical stakeholders in the education sector and therefore deserved recognition and celebration.

He said teachers’ roles in the development of human society cannot be quantified, while he urged other corporate organisations and philanthropic individuals to take a cue from Nigerian Breweries gesture by joining government at all levels to provide more befitting learning and teaching environment for schools.

Speaking, Managing Director of Nigerian Breweries, Jordi Borrut Bel, said the award was to recognise hard work and diligence among teachers, so as to boost their morale for improved performance and by extension, development of education in the country.

He noted that an independent panel of judges headed by Prof. Pat Utomi assessed all 1,310 entries received this year from which the best three emerged.

Borrut Bel assured that the company would continue to add value to the teaching profession, education sector and the economy.

However, Ezem, 38, received a cash prize of N6.5m and training abroad, while a block of classrooms will be built for his school, just as Soji Megbowon from Lagos State emerged first runner-up, while Fidelis Otono, from Katsina State clinched the second runner-up position.

Meanwhile, a former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Professor Joy Ogwu has expressed worry over the moral decadence in the nation’s educational system.

Ogwu made the submission at the weekend in Abuja during the 8th national annual dinner of Government College Ughelli Old Boys Association (GCUOBA).

She disclosed that investigation has revealed that undue emphasis on certificate in Nigeria has made everyone to aspire for paper qualification, a situation she said, encourages examination malpractices.

She alleged that the country now has fictitious examination centres established by corrupt examination officials where candidates complete their examinations with support of helpers and without supervision.

“So many variance of malpractices in our system today are, leakage of examination papers, impersonation, external assistance, smuggling of materials, copying, collusion, intimidation, improper assignment, ghost centres and alteration of awards and certificate,” she said.

Speaking, President General of GCUOBA, Charles Majoroh stressed the need to change the paradigm of public education by planning for ‘Smart Campus’ places of learning.

He argued that the group smart campus ideal would see it deploy ICT facilities over the next few years and integrate the western world to enable the students to acquire knowledge and benchmark with their peers from the best schools globally.

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