By; ALEX UANGBAOJE, Minna
Stakeholders at the just concluded high level advocacy meeting on education sector planning in Minna, organized by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and Federal Ministry of Education, have recommended, amongst other things, the establishment of States Education Trust Fund.
The stakeholders also seek proper result based budget and accessing of the budgeted funds and strengthening of community participation in mobilizing resources, as part of strategies to improve quality of education in Nigeria.
They also want government to continue to seek support from development partners to assist in funding education, engage public-private partnership participation, engage in high level advocacy to education stakeholders on the need to support Education Sector Plan (ESP).
Others are; efficient resource utilisation and blockage of leakages, thoughts on how planning can be made as part of state wide requirements for every activity and as a core function for effective management of education enhancing synergy among the relevant stakeholders
They said, planning activities should be evidence based, result based monitoring and evaluation of education sector plans, education planning should reflect state vision.
They equally recommend regular review of plan to reflect and conform with emerging issues, states should insist that Education Sector Plan (ESP) should inform annual budgets, ensures the education sector plan inform annual budget of state and FCT, and that there should be legal backing for Strategic Education Sector Operational Plan (SESOP), Medium Term Basic Education Strategic plan (MTBESP), National Medium Term Basic Education Strategic Plan (NMTBESP) and Ministerial Strategic Plan (MSP) by National and State Assemblies.
Earlier, at the opening of the meeting, Dr. Zakari Adam, Chief Field Officer, UNICEF Kaduna, had said that the out-of-school syndrome is still a potent threat to achieving Universal Basic Education targets and Sustainable Development Goals in the education sector, especially in the North.
He noted that the trend was worrisome and affect retention at basic education level. He tasked stakeholders to devise an enduring mechanism of stemming the tide, as it was rising cases of child labour and abuse in the country.
In his remarks, Niger State Governor Abubakar Bello reiterated his government commitment to transform the education sector in the state.
Represented by the Commissioner for Education, Hajiya Fatima Madugu, Bello, said the state would use the Medium Term Basic Education Strategic Plan as a budget framework.
He added that this would ensure the achievement of an effective and efficient policy formulation in meeting the needs of the education sector in the state.
According to him, the meeting provide an opportunity to address issues and concerns that may impact the planning process of education in the targeted states.
The meeting was aimed at engaging decision makers on the commencement of the education sector planning process and obtaining their inputs in areas that must be incorporated in the plan.
The event was attended by stakeholders from Niger, Oyo, Kebbi, Borno, Yobe, Katsina, Zamfara, Adamawa, Ebonyi and Benue States as well as the FCT.