The Federal Government has been asked to declare a state of emergency in the educational sector as mass failure in Mathematics and English language in the last 11 years had become a threat to achieving the ideals of Vision 20:2020. Mr Robinson Uwak, a Member of the House of Representatives, said this yesterday.
Uwak, who represents Oron, Mbo, Okobo, Udung, Uko, Urue in Akwa Ibom State, said “the consistent failure of students in the final qualifying examinations showed that the future of the country was in trouble.
The Head of National Office, HNO, Dr. Iyi Uwadiae disclosed the figure of the May/June, 2011 WASCE in Abeokuta, Ogun State while announcing the release of the school examination taken by 1,540,250 candidates nationwide.
The implication of this results he revealed was that only 31 per cent would be eligible for admissions into tertiary institutions.
He further stressed that 587, 630 candidates (38.93 per cent) obtained credits and above in Mathematics, while 838, 314 (55.34 per cent) recorded credits and above in English Language.
Uwak said, “A major reason this should be seen as a state of emergency was that as a country, we have set the goal of being among the 20 industrialized nations by year 2020, as we cannot desire this when our children are failing in numeracy (Mathematics) and literacy (English) examinations?
Uwak, however, blamed the Federal Government for not properly funding the sector, saying “between 1985 and 2005, on the average, the budgetary allocation in Nigeria was on the decline and in some cases, we spent less than 10 percent of the national budget on education as opposed to the UNESCO recommended 26 percent.
Furhter adding, Uwak said, “So, years of neglect in this sector have led to a serious decline in the quality of our students and today, we are not only facing unemployment, we are also seeing a problem of youths being unemployable (a case where graduates are not fit for employment because they cannot prove their education). Take for instance, the recent case of about 80percent failure for applicants in the NNPC recruitment test where those claiming to have a 2.1 certificate scored less than 20percent, this further confirms the lack of functionality in our education, quoting the Group Managing Director of the Corporation.”
Uwak suggested that “to solve this problem, we need to do more than create policies as it must be tackled head-on by both the executive and legislature, many experts and organisations have proffered solutions to manage the crisis. Some include adequate funding, massive investment in infrastructure, promotion of child-friendly and teacher-friendly school environment, revival of Parents Teachers Associations and empowerment approach to education.”
The speaker of the House, Waziri Tambuwal, last week promised to help fast-track all education related bills in a bid to checkmate the deplorable state of the sector in the country. This was when the Minister of State on Education, Mr Nyesson Wike, visited.