Don Urges FG to meet UNESCO Benchmark for Education funding
Prof. Emmanuel Nnadozie Executive Director, African Capacity Building Foundation--Harare, Zimbabwe has urged the Federal Government (FG) to meet the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) benchmark for funding education in the country. The scholar disclosed this during a lecture at the Alex Ekwueme-Federal University Ndufu Alike (AE—FUNAI) Ikwo, Ebonyi state, noting that the FG must allot 26 per cent of its annual budget to the education sector as stipulated by UNESCO.
“Universities and other categories of higher education are struggling under this financial squeeze which has adversely the growth of the system in Nigeria and Africa. “Allocating 26 per cent of federal budget would also ensure that the problem of infrastructure being experienced in the universities among others would be solved, to create a condusive environment for teaching and learning. He noted that such funding would also solve the problem of inadequate teaching personnel experienced in higher institutions, to achieve effective teaching.
“Universities for instance, lack lecturers needed to adequately handle teaching loads which results in overworking of such lecturers. “Research capacities have also been impaired due to limited grant support and weak mentoring capacity by senior academics, mainly due to a brain drain.
Nnadozie said that the frequent labour disputes and closures of higher institutions can be checked with effective funding to halt the incessant disruption of the academic calendar. “There is hardly an academic session that passes without disruptions in the tertiary institutions calendar by academic and non-academic staff unions. “Revamping the higher education in Nigeria can be promoted through collaborative efforts by government, business sectors, civil society and academics among other stakeholders.
He urged the government to stem the tide of emigration to higher institutions in Ghana and other countries and increase efforts to transform the country into the continental and global educational hub. “The teaching curriculum and learning approaches should be periodically assessed to determine their usefulness to the graduate. “Higher institutions should maintain current communication with their graduates and use their feedback mechanism to revamp curricula and teaching methods.
The Vice Chancellor of AE-FUNAI, Prof. Chinedum Nwajiuba, appreciated the FG for approving financial resources for payment of salaries and capital development, especially through the Tertiary Education Trust (TET) Fund. AE-FUNAI is grateful to the FG for energising education programme by which the rural electrification agency is currently working to install a hybrid power plant (1MW) that utilises solar energy to energize power in the university.