The Managing Director of Sterling Bank, Abubakar Suleiman, and Lagos Commissioner for Education, Folashade Adefisayo, on a panel with Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, Minister of State for Education; and Akin Abayomi, Lagos State Commissioner of Health, at Ehingbeti, the ongoing Lagos Economic Summit, have recommend increased commitment to education as the path to delivering the needed human resources social advancement and national growth.
Suleiman said Nigeria needs to redefine its commitment to education.
He added that there must be a change of orientation on education financing, saying such funds must be considered as a capital expenditure worth investing on.
He said: “We need to restrategise on how our education system is delivered as the world is rapidly changing.
“I am of the view that the educational system we have today cannot deliver the human resources that we need today, let alone for the future.
“The resources that we have today (both private and public sector) is not sufficient to run the whole system, we will not be able to provide education for everyone.
“The number of people that are qualified to teach is insufficient because it takes too much time to turn people into a teacher.
“We need to rethink who a teacher is, and where teaching goes on.
“All the reasons that the government borrows money for, none is more important than borrowing money for the future of our children.
“The repayment of the borrowings today is likely to come for the children we are training today.
“The government should be responsible for commercialising every aspect of human capital development so it can scale.”
Earlier, the Lagos State Commissioner for Education had complained that graduates no longer function as required at their work places because the knowledge they possess is not in line with current realities.
Adefisayo said: “I would like to focus my attention on we should optimise, not obsolescence.
“What is happening now is that our educational system, as a result of COVID-19 and other happenings, is becoming obsolete, if it has not become.
“This is because graduates in the workforce are unable to function as required in their work duties in various industries, so definitely there is some sort of dysfunction in the educational system.”
The Commissioner said Lagos State is changing the approach to education by enhancing curriculum and promoting technical knowledge.
She added the government is providing alternative options to students who are unable to proceed to the university.
Adefisayo said: “One strategy we (Lagos State Ministry of Education) are looking at is giving all schools the option of either writing WASSCE and go to the university, or provide comprehensive school systems that will integrate the curriculum with 21st century skills, way beyond vocational skills such as tailoring, etc.
“Also, these comprehensive schools will teach students team work, leadership, digital literacy — not ‘Yahoo-Yahoo’, ability to use technology, attitudinal skills, etc.
“We do not have enough teachers and even the teachers we have, with all due respect, because they do not have the teachers’ skills yet.
“So, we need to address teachers’ training curriculum.
“We have to integrate technology into teaching and learning.
“This is another strategy we have to invest in.
“We need funding, so we need to work with the private sector, development partners and NGOs so that we can all actualise this vision.”