Written by Godfrey AKON

Adamu advocates 15% state, federal budget to education

The Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, has urged the federal and state governments to start allocating at least 15 per cent of their annual budgets to education.

Adamu stated this at a 2-day stakeholders’ workshop in Abuja on Sustainable Funding for Education in Nigeria, jointly organized by the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Finance.

The minister said despite the articulation of several strategic roadmaps by past and present administrations to address the challenges in the sector, the number of out-of-school children, youth and adult literacy, poor teacher education including data management and weak curriculum were still present in the sector.

“For a start, federal and state governments should allocate a minimum of 15 percent of their annual budgets to education. Governments at both tiers should further determine the minimum level of funding for each institution and utilize acceptable budgeting parameters which must be built on national accreditation and global benchmarks.

“There is no doubt that the education sector in Nigeria is grossly underfunded and there is also no doubt that this has negatively affected the quality of education in Nigeria,” he said.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, in his remarks, noted that one of the important factors in achieving quality education is availability of adequate funding.

Osinbajo said funding was the key to provision of quality resources including best practices that make quality education available and achievable.

“It is important therefore, to be able to generate and allocate enough funds to guarantee quality education. Having said that, availability of funding alone will not guarantee quality education.

“The funds must be well managed and not wasted, teachers must be well trained and well-motivated. The curriculum must be well designed to ensure that it is relevant to the needs of the country,” he said.

Also speaking, the World Bank Senior Director and Head of its Education Global Practice, Mr. Jaime Saavedra Chanduvi, disclosed that Nigeria has one of the lowest education spending in the world, devoting only $200 to each student per year.

Chanduvi, who described funding education as absolutely critical to build the human capital that the nation needs, said the country was only spending about 1.7 per cent of its total Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on education which is inadequate.

“Nigeria is spending about 1.7 per cent of its GDP on education and unfortunately that number is too low; that number is about 3.7 per cent in Mexico, 3.8 per cent in Indonesia, and 5 per cent in Kenya.

“Another way of seeing the challenges is how much we are spending per student; Nigeria is spending $200 per student per year. So what’s that figure in Mexico, its $800; what’s that figure in my country, Peru, it is $1000,” he said.

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