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No political party has plan for education –Obi

A former Governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi, has lamented the decay in the education sector, insisting that no political party in the country has a framework for education.

The All Progressives Grand Alliance leader said this at the 2014 Founder’s Day Lecture which was held in commemoration of the 105th anniversary of King’s College in Lagos on Thursday.

He said, “Today, I do not think any party in Nigeria has a vision about education; that is the truth. I am a politician and I belong to a political party but I can tell you that there is none that has a plan and I can back this up with the statistics of the result of WASSCE (West African Senior School Certificate Examination).

“When Tony Blair (ex-United Kingdom Prime Minister) was campaigning, he emphasised education and when he got there, he dealt squarely with the issue of education. Here we promise one thing when we are campaigning but deliver another thing when we are in office.”

The former governor added that one of the reasons why Nigeria’s standard of education was low was not because of lack of funds but the government’s inability to effectively monitor the usage of funds which goes into the pockets of third parties instead of the schools that need them.

He boasted that he discontinued the trend in Anambra State and the state came first in WASSCE nationwide.

“In Nigeria, all we talk about is minimum wage and not minimum productivity. People are paid better here than in Ghana and other countries and yet they produce more. In Anambra we did not increase funds but only increased the monitoring. The money went where we wanted it to go,” he said.

At the event themed, Vision for Education in Nigeria, the chairmen of both the All Progressives Congress and the Peoples Democratic Party were supposed to speak on the vision of their respective parties in the area of education.

While the National Chairman of the APC, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, was represented by a former Governor of Ekiti State, Mr. Segun Oni; the PDP National Chairman, Adamu Mu’azu, did not attend and sent no representative.

Oni, while unfolding the education framework of his party, said there needed to be an increase in funding. He said should the APC sweep the polls next year, it would re-instate teacher training colleges across the country.

He added that education for the girl child would also be the prime focus of the APC

He said, “There will be incentives for the girl child education. If we expand education, we will reduce income inequality and that will improve security. High level of education will also ensure we have a more conscious attitude to our environment.

“The present standard is just too poor and our curriculum is not in tandem with the national requirement. We have poorly trained teachers who are poorly motivated.”

The Chairman of the occasion, Mr. Izoma Asiodu, who is also the chairman of the Board of Trustees of the old boys’ association, said the failure of the education sector in the country could be traced to the 1970s, when the Federal Government took over the running of schools from the missions and voluntary organisations.

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