Kwara State Governor, AbdulRahman Abdulrazaq has advocated for a refocus on the educational sector, by calling for the prioritising of the knowledge-based economy.
He made this call during an event tagged Kwara Education Futures Summit, which was held in Ilorin, the state capital on Friday.
Explaining the reason for the submit, Governor AbdulRazaq stated that it was called to “analyse the current state of education in Kwara State and develop actionable plan to build a new generation of leaders who can hold their own anywhere in the world.”
The event attracted top policy wonks across the country due to the state’s commitment to funding more than 25 per cent of UNESCO budgetary funding to education in the state.
Speaking at the event was World Bank’s Senior Education Specialist, Dr. Tunde Adekola, who described the summit as timely and fitting.
He expressed that government has to invest wisely and smartly to be able to secure the future of children.
He stated that there is a need for a coalition between the state and non-state actors to chart a sustainable course for an improved education system.
He also called for the proper training and retraining of teachers “to raise them professionally.”
Adekola, explaining the importance of investment in education, cited how India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brazil, Thailand and the Philippines have emerged among the top-performing economies of the world after huge investment in education.
“With the global economic trend swiftly moving farther away from resource to knowledge-based, most governance planners have no choice to invest more in education. In this sector, Kwara has so much going for it. Kwara State has the highest number of basic schools in the whole of north-central. Kwara State has the least number of out-of-school children in the north-central zone of Nigeria. Kwara State is one of those states that are investing more than 20% of its budget in education.
“Kwara State is one of those states that is coming up from behind in accessing all the funding in UBEC and is now investing in infrastructure and learning materials. All these things do not come by accident. That is what is called leadership. That is what we need at all levels in the state. That is why the governor brought all of us here to share knowledge and information, to see how we can make things better.”
Adekola, however, pointed out there are quite some challenges with achieving the desired result.
“We all have to rally around a shared vision and shared mission for inclusive education and secure the future of our children,” he said while calling for the resuscitation of the regime of accountability in the schools, including key performance indicators to measure performance and adherence to rules.
Governor AbdulRazaq agreeing to the fact that numerous challenges are facing the education sector in the state, called for all stakeholders to come together.
He expressed that his administration is committed to making public schools the first choice for all in terms of the quality and relevance of our infrastructure and teaching staff in the digital age.