The Chartered Institute of Human Capital Development of Nigeria (CIHCDN) has endorsed the ongoing National Conference, but however, tasked the delegates to look into revolutionising the education sector.
It said with what is currently obtainable in Nigerian education sector and indeed other related sectors have shown that federal government alone was evidently incapable of meeting the human capital development challenges of the nation.
According to CIHCDN in a memorandum submitted to the National Conference and made available to journalists yesterday in Jos by its Chairman, Board of Trustees (BoT), Mr. Cyril Ogboli and Secretary, Mrs. Grace Dallong-Opadokun, it was still tied to the influence and impact of the objectives and philosophies of education at its foundation by the British colonial administrators.
“In its view, investments in education were not accorded priority neither were they informed by the need to develop the Nigerian society to meet the needs of Nigeria and to improve the quality of life of its citizens.
“With 8.42 per cent of the national budget allocated to education, which is the second largest priority in the budget, Nigeria has the largest number of out-of-school children and young adults with limited literacy and numeracy skills who have little hope of ever joining the formal workforce. About 72 per cent of primary age children never attended school in Borno State.
“The average enrolment into Nigerian universities was 37.6 per cent for women, compared to 62.4 per cent for men in the years 2008-2010. The drawback was attributed to some of the challenges, which include academic staff shortage in all areas particularly in the critical areas of science and technology. Over 60 per cent of academic staff in the Nigerian university system is in the category of Lecturer 1 and below due to inter and intra-sector brain drains.
“The educational system suffers from deteriorating quality and insufficient investment to keep pace with the country’s burgeoning school age population. The primary and secondary schools have, in the view of experts, degenerated, we have lost all respect for the teachers at all levels; they are underpaid and not paid regularly.
“Scandals have invaded the examination councils for passing out certificate at the secondary level, for the university admission through JAMB and at the degree level in the universities,” he said.
The statement lamented that parents had joined their children and teachers to prevent the system from the grassroots. “On standards, the staff and students were in no doubt that the academic standards in the universities had been progressively falling.
“When there was crisis and the university was closed down, on resumption, lectures were hurried and sometimes all the grounds were not covered and mark, on some occasions, were reduced to enable student to pass,examinations,” the statement explained.
The CIHCDN noted that there was a general decline in the quality of infrastructure for the propagation of knowledge. “The laboratories are antiquated and obsolete, the senior members of staff are crowded into small rooms for offices, the campuses have no constant supply of water, power or other facilities, the classrooms are so over-crowded that students have to hang onto the railings and crowd into verandas to listen to lectures delivered without audio aids to hundreds of students in ill-lit, ill-equipped lecture halls.”
The institute also roundly condemned the spate and threats of strikes in higher institutions, which it said are disruptive, tendentious, which retard the growth of the university system.
On restoring the dignity of labour, the body said: “There is need to restore pride in labour. Every Nigerian cannot have a white-collar job. Until we begin to treat petty traders, artisans and others with respect, the current trend will not abate and we will continue to have stampedes anytime there are job interviews because even those employed in the formal sectors all scramble for such opportunities not necessarily because it is better paying, but because it is more dignified and respectable.”