The former commissioner for Education in Edo state Prof. Ngozi Osarenren, has earmarked corruption at both state and federal level as the backbone behind the challenges faced in Nigerian Education sector today.
Prof. Ngozi Osarenren, who is a lecturer at the university of Lagos said the low quality of teachers and lack of commitment to basic education has crippled the Nigerian education sector.
Speaking at a recent event organised by the Education Writers Association of Nigeria in Lagos, Osarenren, who heads the Department of Education Foundation at the University of Lagos, said that corruption, especially among the staff of the various state Universal Basic Education boards, and indiscipline among teachers were some of the factors militating against the existence of a functional and effective basic education that is at par with global best practices in the country.
“Instructional materials are being thrown away and not distributed to the schools that they ought to go to. If you enter a market, you will find books bearing UBEC’s stamp being displayed for sale. How did they get into the market?
“Also, we have teachers that spend only one hour in a week. Some of them have their colleagues teaching for them while they go to Dubai to buy things and sell. These are some of the infractions that we have in the school system and they are impeding on the proper and effective implementation of basic education,” she said.
She also pointed out that failure to adhere to the provisions of the Basic Education Act, especially with regard to appointment of members and officials of the Universal Basic Education Commission at national and state levels, posed a serious challenge to basic education.
She said, “As specified in the Act, the chairman and the members of the Universal Basic Education Commission are supposed to be experienced educationists. But, nowadays, appointments to these positions are based on political patronage.
“At the state level, those who could not be made commissioners that end up being appointed as members of the boards.
“My take on this matter is that for us to have basic education that is obtainable the way it is in other parts of the world, we have to do the needful. Our basic education can only be at par with what is obtainable in other countries around when we decide to make up our minds that we want the best for our children and for our schools.”