By Funmi Ajumobi
Human Development Initiative, HDI, a non-governmental Organisation in partnership with MacArthur Foundation, recently, held a 2 Day training for stakeholders in the education sector for effective quality basic education in Nigeria.
The training held at Pearlworth Hotels in Lagos brought together officials of SUBEB, Ministry of Education, Local Government Education Authorities, and those involved in making policies on education in Lagos to reach a workable solution for post-COVID-19, which had changed the architecture of education like other sectors of the economy in the country.
According to the Executive Director of Human Development Initiative, Mrs. Olufunso Owasanoye, the stakeholders need to be able to advocate for positive change in the area of policy engagement, good governance, transparency, and accountability, adding that despite the progress made in the education sector, a lot was needed to be done to get to the promised land of quality education in Nigeria, especially in Lagos State.
While commending the stakeholders for achieving the objective of basic education in Lagos State, Owasanoye said quality education remains the responsibility of all and encouraged them to give basic education a higher priority with their commitment and involvement.
In his session, Professor Stephen Adebanjo Oyebade, a lecturer in the Dept. of Educational Management, University of Lagos and also a resource person on the management of basic education in the post-COVID-19 Nigeria, discussed ‘Effective basic education administration in a 21st Century Nigeria: challenges and way forward’.
He acknowledged that Nigeria had been ranked to have the largest population out of school children in the world which he said was an embarrassment to the nation. He said the purpose of the gathering was to know where the challenges lay, design way forward, and revert to use technology in education which he said would lead Nigeria from the present to the future. He explained that the use of technology would cater to the extreme population and would be able to reach distance areas by using Wi-Fi to network and bring development.
Dr. Fadokun James, a Senior Research Fellow from the National Institute for Educational Planning and Administration, Ondo State, who facilitated another session, said Nigeria was among countries in the world with sound policy but that implementation was always the challenge.
He reiterated that good governance and institutional integrity were important if the government wanted everybody to implement the policy as planned, adding that institutional integrity must first come from the government with accountability and transparency.
He advised stakeholders to take advantage of partnerships In their ministries and other inter-departmental ministries that can support the implementation of basic education especially in the area of monitoring and evaluation.
Mrs. Sherifat Abiodun Adedoyin, a Permanent Board Member in charge of Co-curricular Activities, Lagos State Universal basic Education who was a participant said the programme was all-encompassing, having touched areas affecting schools, pupils, teachers, Lagos State and the society at large.