Group wants govt to partner private sector, local, international organisations to lift education

AS the search for ways to alleviate the obvious gaps, shortfalls and their attendant repercussions in the country’s educational system continues, the Centre for Development and Cultural Interchange (CDCI), says the dire situation can be effectively tackled if the Federal Government gets the private sector to buy in the adopt-a-school-initiative.

   According to the CDCI, the idea will not only enhance the quality of education in the country, but will also ensure that students acquire the knowledge that would guarantee their employability as graduates.

  These were part of revelations that were made at a parley organised in Abuja on how state governments can improve public education and create employment for thousands of youths in the country.

 Founder of CDCI, Emmanuel Sule, in his submission at the event said, “State governments should adopt a holistic approach in solving the decay in public education by working in partnership with other stakeholders such as the private sector, local and international organisations.

  ”This would engender the needed impetus to propel the standard back to the level it ought to be, as well as boost participation and enhance involvement of all interested parties, considering the belief that the basic infrastructure needed for quality education are lacking in almost all schools in the country,” he said.

 The group was established in 2011 in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, with the aim of promoting educational ideals, programmes and policies and their implementation in Nigeria, especially those that have worked in the development of the educational systems in The Netherlands and other European countries, where the founder had lived for 12 years.

 Sule, a researcher and development expert, using Edo State as a case study where the organisation started operation in 2013, decried a situation where some schools do not have teachers in key subjects like mathematics, physics and chemistry, in their employ. This is apart from perennial challenges like dilapidated infrastructural facilities, unavailability of libraries and science laboratories. 

  Matters are made worse when viewed against the background that some of these students are expected to enroll for the Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination (SSSCE), record credit passes to qualify to write the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) examinations. 

   It was to salvage this deplorable situation that the organisation recruited university graduates with backgrounds in education (with bias in science or pure arts), trained them on the use of English language to broaden their capacity and had them posted to public schools to teach subjects like physics, chemistry, mathematics, English language, English literature and biology.

   Taking a cursory look at the group’s strides so far, including the teacher’s recruitment exercise, Sule said the initiative has helped in boosting the educational development of the state, as CDCI came to the state with a clear vision to contribute to the sector, knowing the “importance of sustaining development in every society. Without literate people, whatever progress is attained by any administration will eventually fizzle out when the society lacks people with adequate capacity to sustain that progress.

  “Additionally, we are working towards having a society where public schools will have the same standards as schools in Europe and North America, and our mission is to get all stakeholders involved in our quest to improve teaching services in public schools,” he said.  

  “We have been able to create employment for 120 fresh university graduates. Out of which 40 of them earn N30, 000 monthly, from the Graduate Internship Scheme, sponsored by the Federal Ministry of Finance, where we struggled to place them after training them. While “the 80 remaining graduates work as volunteer teachers without pay, pending when we can get funds,” Sule volunteered while still speaking on the group’s strides.

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