Former Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof. Julius Okojie, has tasked Nigerian leaders to ensure that education at the basic and secondary levels remains free and compulsory.
Okojie made the call at the inaugural edition of his lecture series titled:’ The Future of the Nations University System’.
The Professor insisted that Nigerian leaders owe every child free primary and secondary education to prepare them for the future, expressing
displeasure over the state of primary education in the country.
He noted that some primary school pupils still learn under trees, in adverse situations that will produce half-baked individuals in the long run.
“Local, State and Federal Government structures are not working. Federal Government is still doing basic education when it is the function of local government, secondary schools for states and the federal government still doing it.
”Having worked through public service, I know that a girl who has no education does not have a space in this country. So I have been promoting that crusade informally using my family house in Uromi, in Edo state.
”I have decided it will be the headquarters of the foundation. Education is the least you can give to kids and there is so much work to do in this country.
”I have always preached free primary and secondary education but we are not doing it. Universities could go on strike every day, there is nowhere in the world that you don’t have that.
Meanwhile, the Guest Speaker at the lecture series, Prof. Desireé Guobadia, in her presentation called for reconsideration of Higher School Certificate (HSC) programmes.
Guobadia said that the certificate would provide much-needed training platforms for students to get more maturity.
She also said that the number of higher institutions was insufficient to cater for the admission needs of Nigerians.
”Government is not lacking in ideas, the problem has always been the will to implement recommendations.
”I want to emphasise the place of proper planning for students enrolment and also following proper budgeting,” she said.
She identified the place of aligning education goals with national goals and policies, saying the 6-3-3-4 system of education should lead to the acquisition of knowledge and skills to make room for those not proceeding to higher institutions.
She, however, called for more efforts in providing employment opportunities for post-secondary school graduates in the country, NAN reports.