Over 10 million Nigerian kids are not benefiting from any form of education, so says the Minister of Education, Prof. Ruqqayatu Rufa’i.
She, however, said she has been trying to fix the challenge since coming into office though with several barriers to overcome.
The minister, who spoke at the 21st Nigeria Pilot Newspapers Leadership Forum in Abuja, said: “I can tell you straight away that we are committed to the reform of the education sector, but the irony is that the civil service frustrates the efforts.
“The system is a problem for the growth of the education system and the nation and there is a great need for the reform of the civil service in order to reverse certain obstacles.
“It is so bad that most things we did or achieved were done out of struggle with them.
“We literally fought to have anything done.
“I am frank that the civil service creates problems and retard the growth of the nation.
“You will initiate a good programme and want it implemented right away and they find a way of stopping it.
“As you keep the material with them, they will simply keep quiet and act like nothing was discussed and some months after when you remember it once again, they will just tell you that ‘it is in the system’ and nobody makes any effort to bring it out from there.
“At the state level, it is so much better, because even when I was a commissioner in Jigawa State it wasn’t this bad.
“The governor was willing for the changes and they were no obstacles.
“But at the federal level, it is a different case.
“The President is willing and ready for reforms in the sectors, but civil service won’t just allow that happen.
“So to reform the system and make things work, the reform should start with the civil service.
“One of the major points of concern that needed urgent attention was the provision of access to schools for the youths of Nigeria.”