The Nigeria Union of Teachers says poor governance, mismanagement and insufficient funds are the major challenges facing primary education in the country.
Emmanuel Hwande, Press and Public Relation Officer of the body, told the News Agency of Nigeria on Wednesday in Abuja that the situation needed urgent attention in view of the importance of primary education.
Hwande described primary education as the “foundation of education” which, if faulty, would lead to the collapse of the entire structure.
He said: “Primary education needs great attention; it requires finance, trained teachers, equipment, good administration, better environment and among others, to be solid.
“Once a foundation is not solid, there is always a lurking danger. That is the danger we are facing.”
According to him, the quality of education in any country is one of the major keys to national development.
He said: “Unfortunately, the quality of education in Nigeria is suffering a steady decline. The situation is alarming and scary.”
The official decried government’s attitude towards crucial problems of education, especially its quality, saying that primary education was suffering because it was not solely in the hands of any tier of government.
He said that poor funding and neglect had remained the lot of primary education, adding that good funding would make massive on the sub-sector.
He said: “Poor teachers welfare is another consequence of poor funding. Poor salaries and bonuses, as well as irregular payments of salaries in some states, are among the practices that force teachers into industrial actions.”
He said that the first step towards reviving the primary education was to restructure it so as to save it from collapsing.
He said: “Governments at all level must commit to the delivery of a competitive standard of education across the country.
“The right investments must be done to get the desired results. Adequate funding with good management will provide high quality education in Nigeria.
“Funds for renovation of schools, acquiring quality training facilities, decent teachers salary and welfare, among others, must be increased, released and spent appropriately.’’
He advised the Federal Government to give due attention to the inspectorate division to ensure adequate supervision of activities in the schools.
He said: “Supervisions can only be done by inspectors. Government must revive this division and give it the environment to work because, without supervision, you will not know what is happening in school.
“For you to know what is actually happening in the school, there must be supervision. So, inspectors must be encouraged to do their work effectively.”