CSACEFA CHARGED GOVERNMENT ON EDUCATION INEQUALITY
On the 6th Day of June, 2017, the Civil Society Action Coalition on Education For All (CSACEFA) charged the National Assembly to look into the issue of inequality especially among school children, girls and women in particular.
Speaking through the Policy Advisor, Ms Chioma Osuji at the Joint Interactive Session of the National Assembly committee on the SDGs, she noted that the level of inequality is high which has not given students equal opportunity to access education. She highlighted the following as factors which give rise to education inequality;
- Distance (from a pupil house to class).
- Death of parents/sponsor
- Poor sensitization of communities on benefits of education.
- Hidden cost of education.
- Literacy level of parents.
- High rate of unemployment.
- Large families.
- Lack of basic amenities.
She also identify that to achieve the ‘leave no one behind’ slogan on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), concerted efforts must be made to bridge the gap. It was also noted by CSACEFA that there is inequality in the deployment of teachers to rural schools.
DO AWAY WITH TEMPLATE DURING BUDGET PREPARATION CSOs TELLS BUDGET OFFICE
At the public presentation of the 2017 Appropriation Act which is tagged Budget of Recovery and growth, the Civil Society Action coalition on education for All (CSACEFA) call on the budget office to find a way to do away with the idea of sending templates to government ministries Department and Agencies during Budget Preparation. Speaking through the Policy Advisor of the Coalition, Ms Chioma Osuji, she stated that the idea sending templates to MDAs create waste.
In her words she said “If this template of a thing is removed it will stop the idea of MDAs just filling in items which are not their core needs there by reducing waste of budget for line items which are not needed by the MDAS”.
It will be recalled that the Acting president, Professor Yemi Osinbajo on the 12th of June, 2017 signed the 2017 Appropriation Act in to law. Presenting the Act to the public, the Minister of Budget and National Planning gave a rundown of the Major MDAs capital allocations as:
Science and technology: N41.7b; Youths and Sports: N5.44b; Defense: 139.29b; Education: N151.92b; Health: 55.61bn; Interior: 63.73b; Social intervention: 150b; Agriculture: 103. 79b; Water resources: 104.24b; MITI: 81.73b; Transport: 241.71b; Works Power and Housing: 553.71b
On statutory transfer the minister said that the following Agencies have the following budget.
National Judicial Council 100bn, Niger Delta Development 64bn, Universal Basic Education N95.18bn, National assembly: 125bn, Public Complaint Commission: 4bn; Independent National Electoral Commission 45bn and the National Human right Commission 1.2bn
According to the minister, the objective of the budget is to restore and sustain growth by investing in the people of Nigeria both home and above, grow competitive foreign and domestic investment; and stabilize micro-economy through improved agriculture and food supply, energy sufficiency for both commercial and private consumption, transport infrastructure and drive industrialization.
NASS CELEBRATES 96 BILLS IN 2 YEARS, WHY EDUCATION BILLS LAG
On the 9th day of June, 2017, the 8th National Assembly passed 96 bills into law within its first two years; this was made known by the Senate President, Bukola Saraki during the 2nd anniversary occasion of the senate (2015 – 2017). The Senate President stated that, “this is the highest number of bills passed in the history of the senate”.
It’s unfortunate that in all the passed bills, none of them bother on education which is a pivot for development especially in a developing country despite the fact that education laws in Nigeria needs amendment. It should be noted that the Universal Basic Education Act have some vague areas which need to be look at, for instance, Section 2(2) which stipulates ‘punishment for parents who refused to sent their wards to school’ without making provision for the agency that will check defaulters. Also punishment was not stated for States that refused to access the Universal Basic Education Fund and also setting-up of State Universal Education Board members.
Taking a look at the UBEC Act, one will find out that a lacuna exist on the feat of UBE for all in Nigeria. An area that needs to be look into is the 9 year compulsory Education which the UBEC Act stipulated. This captures from Primary School to Junior Secondary School. This Act needs to be amended to accommodate the Senior Secondary school as well; which will make it 12 years of compulsory education. This if done, will be in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially ‘Group 4’ which stipulates compulsory and free 12 years to access quality education for all by 2030.