Civil Right Concern Seeks Improved Funding for Education Retooling in Anambra

…Calls Inclusion of Disadvantaged Communities in E-Education Plan

By Chioma Ndife

To celebrate the 2021 International Day for Education, Civil Right Concern, (CRC) a Non-Governmental Organization, has called for the retooling of the educational sector through improved funding and facilities to guarantee adequate platform necessary for E-learning.

The call for government to improve the funding of the education sector was made during a forum organized by CRC Last Monday, at King David Hotel, Awka.

Fides gathered that the forum was aimed at coalescing Civil Societies to join the advocacy for retooling of education for improved results, especially as it concerned the new normal introduced into the sector by the coronavirus pandemic.

Leading in the conversation at the forum, CRC spokesperson, Okey Onyeka, noted that education had been recognized as a public good, a public responsibility and human right, noting that the qualities arose from the agreed United Nations General Assembly declarations of the role of education for peace and development.

According to Onyeka, ”Recover and Revitalize Education for COVID-19 Generation”, the theme for the 2021 International Day for Education, touched the unpreparedness of Nigeria to handle the challenges arising from the pandemic, noting that it opened up the weaknesses in the sparse facilities and inadequacies in the delivery system that had produced graduates without requisite skills to face challenges in a difficult situation found in COVID-19.

He maintained that the right education was being violated when all other accessory rights that promoted education were violated, these, he said, the General Assembly had declared to be unacceptable.

He explained that the programme was designed to leverage on the 2021 International Day for Education to discuss most of the issues in the educational system and delivery, and to coalesce civil societis to promote implementation of measures that would enable citizens to enjoy their right to a functional lifelong quality education.

He said CRC had identified three objectives which they would pursue to include; retooling education deliveries for skills, quality and inclusion, to improve budgeting and implementation of educational programmes and to coalesce civil societies to advocate for quality and skillful education for all.

He disclosed that the objectives were developed to intervene for quality access and skill based education for all citizens.

The CRC spokesperson revealed that the NGO was implementing the reactivity under the programme of Evidence and Collaboration for Inclusive Development with support from Christian Aid Nigeria, noting that the forum would be followed up with advocacy engagements to share the information with relevant stakeholders for adoption and implementation.

Addressing the participants on ‘Retooling Education in the new normal, a University Don at Department of Theatre and Films Studies, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Prof. Charles Nwadigwe, regretted that students had stayed home for a long time and maintained that there was need to develop a new model to approach the educational needs of Nigerian students for the educated populace in years to come.

Prof. Nwadigwe who is also an Education Consultant, said the inadequacy of E-Learning facilities would be tackled to ensure that Nigerian children measured up with those in other parts of the globe, saying education could be funded effectively through the introduction of education Tax on luxury goods and service where people would be mandated to pay in support of education.

Speaking during the interactive session, the President, Centre for Self-Empowerment and Development, Mrs. Onyeka Obi, lamented that principals were not appointed on merit in Anambra State and advocated that the problems with education must be traced from the roots.

Contributing, Jennifer Okafor of AHADEF, decried the poor remuneration of teachers. She noted that people living in the hinterlands did not have power supply and network to key into the online learning being practiced in most urban centres.

Another participant, Henry Opera, maintained that there was need for teachers’ assigned duties to be effectively evaluated as most teachers were overloaded with work, thereby reducing efficiency in the classroom.

The NGO through the Communique released after the interactive session, called on the state government to change its post COVID-19 policy that required parents to pay school fees for terms not covered, to come up with a clear policy for retooling education as it was now technologically driven and advocated for policy on incentives and supervision to monitor truancy and ensure better quality education.