By Samuel Ohwovoriole
The Federal Government of Nigeria has promised better welfare for for both staff and students of the 110 federal government colleges (Unity Schools) across the country. The federal government said this will put an end to poor management and quality of education in the schools.
The Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba made the promise in his keynote address at the 2020 Annual General Meeting (AGM) of principals of Federal Unity Colleges with the theme, ‘Restructuring Our Educational Systemto suit our challenging times’ yesterday in Abuja, he emphasised on the need to have Nigerian students address societal needs rather than them becoming societal problems.
Nwajiuba said that “government has pledged to address the challenges of poor management and leadership style, inadequate classrooms, staff and students indiscipline, inadequate number of qualified teachers, inadequate staff welfare, poor academic performance, and inadequate funding which has resulted to dilapidated furniture and unfinished projects in Unity colleges.”
Speaking further he charged the principals not to be deterred by the challenges bedevilling the education sector, but brace up to their responsibilities and return the colleges to centres of excellence by teaching and nurturing the students to achieve expected behaviours.
According to him, the establishment of six new Federal Science and Technical Colleges (FSTCS) would go a long way in promoting the acquisition of entrepreneurial skills for self-reliance. “It is imperative in ensuringqualitative instructional delivery so as to maximize student performance inconformity with the societal needs.
“This entails that the present system of education should be modified by reforming learning, curriculum and pedagogy, to keep abreast with modern global practices in Education.
“The Government is making concerted efforts to deliver quality education inline with Mr. President’s nine-point agenda which emphasizes on access to quality education. Easy access to quality education for all is on course and we are determined to reset our priorities, specify our targets,programmes and strategies in other to make this a concrete and measurablereality in the education sector.
He called for the collective support of the Principals and other staff for government to achieve its goal of improved quality education. “To further achieve the objectives of quality education for all, we need thecollective support, co-operation and sincere commitment of all the keyplayers, especially you the Principals of the FUCs.
“I implore you to be more committed and to exhibit professionalism in handling various issues in the Colleges. Your wellarticulated inputs in this meeting will go a long way in achieving the muchdesired repositioning of Federal Unity Colleges.”
He urged the Principals to reform their method of teaching and learning in order to ensure delivery of quality education in line with global best practices.
Making emphasis on the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on education delivery, Chairman, Principals of Federal Unity Colleges,
Dr. Tokunbo Yakubu-Oyinloye, Chairman, Principals of FUC, appealed to the Federal Government to upgrade the Information Communication Technology (ICT) facilities and also increase funding to the Colleges to ensure effective and efficient delivery of educational services in the schools. Saying that Covid-19 brought a lot of challenges to the schools.
“We will all agree that we are in challenging times especially with the advent of Covid – 19 which has made a great difference in every aspect of life all over the world. There is also the explosion of knowledge, the increased spread of social media and the ascendancy of the digital age which are the things we have to grapple with.
“Many of our schools had to incorporate online teaching methods and e-Learning with the use of ICT into our teaching and learning last year to ensure our students did not lose out during the lockdown caused by the epidemic.
“This was a wake up call to many of us that in this 21st century we would have to adopt and adapt new ideas and new technologies to be able to provide the best education possible to our students.”She emphasised.
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