Mon. Mar 20th, 2023

The Civil Society Action Coalition on Education for All (CSACEFA) has been tasked to interrogate states governments in the utilisation of education funds leading to the outrageous number of out-of-school children in the country.

The Register/Chief Executive, Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN), Prof. Josiah Ajiboye said this at the 2022 Annual General Forum (AGF) of the coalition.

The theme of the forum is tagged:’ Building Back Better: Repositioning CSACEFA for Effective Citizens Mobilisation and Engagement towards Achieving Education 2030′.

Ajiboye expressed concern over the 20 million out-of-school children recently declared by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), in spite of various programmes of the government at reducing the figure.

He called on the coalition to also challenge some states who had refused to make their counterpart funding to assess the UBEC matching grant.

” We have been able to address some of the challenges that are confronting the issue of education in Nigeria, for example, when you are talking of funding of education, you look at the issue of UBEC funding.

” Government makes a provision for education funding where N500 million are supposed to be a counterpart funding, a matching grant from the states.

” You will discover that some states are not actually assessing the funds as and when due and a few of the states over the years actually abandoned that and they are doing some other things.

” And that’s why we need this civil society groups to be able to interrogate the level of involvement of the state in terms of assessing some of these funds,” he said.
Ajiboye also challenged the coalition to interrogate the school feeding programme to know if actually addressing the out-of-school problem in the country.

” The school feeding programme is part of the project that has been put in place to arrest this number of out-of-school children in the country.

” So part of the thing that civil society group need to do is actually to interrogate this. Let us see how far we have been able to go with the school feeding, to what impact has the school feeding system done.

“Another thing is also the cash transfer policy that has been adopted in some states of the federation. All these things aimed at reducing the number of out-of-school children, what is the impact?

“Are you telling us that it’s not achieving the desired goal? This I think is the role of our civil society group. And this is where CSACEFA actually comes in,” he said.

He stressed that in spite of the challenges in the country’s educational sector, Nigerians were still sorted after in the global world.

He, therefore, called on stakeholders to begin to look at the other positive aspects and be able to accentuate those positive aspects of Nigeria education system, rather than to disparage the old system generally.

The Chairman, Board of Trustees of the coalition, Tom Maiyashi said that there was need for the country to first address the problems of poverty to get the sector at its rightful place.

” We must not watch our country going down, the state of education, particularly basic education is facing monumental crisis.

” We must interrogate ourselves and do a rethink as we cannot afford to play politics with our education.

” Education is the greatest weapon to fight poverty and poverty is the greatest enemy if education, so we need to tackle the issue of poverty.

” Because the issue of school feeding is not sustainable. How many children are you providing for? With the school feeding programme, you still hear the figures of children who are out of school as 20 million, this figure is not fake There’s the fundamental issue of poverty which is ravaging or rural communities,” he said.
Meanwhile, the National Moderator of CSACEFA, Abdullahi Sale, promised to be objective in its dealing with holding government accountable in its various projects.

” I can assure you that we can advise government properly and looking at the perspective of what happened in the National Assembly, they actually have the the mandate to perform oversight in whatever government does.

“And they are now challenging the implementation for us, and as civil society, we are actually not happy because we expected something better.

“Therefore, we will the civil society also do our own best to see how we can look at these things passionately then also serve as advisor where we can,” he said.

Also, Prof. Clerk Brandon, National Coordinator, Science and Technology Base Advancement Programme, said that there was need to strengthen the fundamentality of the knowledge system to become a self-sufficient nation.

Brandon charged Nigeria to take advantage of its population to invest in its human capital for global competitiveness.

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