The Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) has called on the Federal Government to promote effective finance and budget for the education sector to enhance an inclusive education for all.
CSJ Lead Director, Mr. Eze Onyekpere, made the call in Abuja during a National Stakeholders Meeting organised by the Civil Society Action Coalition on Education for All (CSACEFA).
The theme of the meeting was: Achieving Inclusive Education by 2030 through effective education financing and budgeting.
Onyekpere said the right to education was guaranteed in a plethora of international and regional standards binding on Nigeria through ratification, declaration and reaffirmation of customary international law.
[penci_blockquote style=”style-2″ align=”none” author=””]According to him, the education sector had been faced with challenges ranging from inadequate funding, improper planning among others which, he said, could be traceable to lack of political will.[/penci_blockquote]
He said the standards include the Universal Declaration on Human Rights (UDHR), the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and many more.
Onyekpere said that the educational institutions and programmes had to be accessible to everyone, without discrimination, within the jurisdiction of the state for the proper inclusiveness.
According to him, the education sector had been faced with challenges ranging from inadequate funding, improper planning among others which, he said, could be traceable to lack of political will.
“Education has an empowering right to hold the key to set itself up as an island of sanity in the virtually insane environment where we are relying on proper planning and proper policy framework.
“This, which is now evident in the budget, doing things in an empirical manner and budgeting for the binding constraint in education, you will see the enrollment being increased.
“Resources go beyond money to solve the problems bedeviling the education sector.
“Apart from paying teachers salary, the capital component is not utilised. There is evidence that we are not utilising the money available.
“So much is wrong with the sector, so it is a problem of lack of political will to address the problems in the sector,” he said.
Onyekpere called for the right policy to enhance education, saying that budgeting for education should be based on the plan, policy and budget continuum.
[penci_related_posts taxonomies=”undefined” title=”Online Related Posts” background=”” border=”” thumbright=”no” number=”4″ style=”grid” align=”none” displayby=”recent_posts” orderby=”random”]
According to him, good plans lead to good sectoral policies which now inform budget priorities but these plans must be developed to have a good sector.
He, therefore, suggested that a centre of excellence for education should be created pending the removal of the constraints across the whole value chain.
“The right to education should be realised progressively using the maximum of available resources through steps that are deliberate, concrete and targeted.
“The right admits of no retrogressive steps as it is a forward ever right and the state will need to justify retrogressive steps in the light of its available resources,” he said.
Also, the CSACEFA National Moderator, Malam Kabiru Aliyu, said there was need to domesticate education financing in the states to allow for inclusive education.
Aliyu commended the Sokoto State Government for taking a bold step of domesticating education financing as a certain percentage was usually deducted from workers salary to cater for educational need of the state.
He said the deductions were used to put in place infrastructural development and as well employed staff who took care of teaching in those schools.
Aliyu said there was also the need to look inward to make sure that there were adequate provisions for teachers as well motivated and supported with the necessary materials for effectively teaching.
He called on the Federal Government to include CSOs and other relevant stakeholders in the educational planning.
Earlier, the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, said inclusive education was paramount to the heart of the ministry, stressing that he would do its best in achieving it.
Adamu who was represented by the Principal Assistant Education Officer in the ministry Miss. Shirley Torkwase, said the ministry was committed to working on any issues concerning inclusive education and as such urged the participants to deliberate on issues that would positively influence the sector.