ActionAid Nigeria has called on the Federal Government to increase the share of the national budget allocation to education to allow for gender responsive public education services.
Mrs Ene Obi, Country Director , ActionAid Nigeria, made the call during the ActionAid Nigeria National Dialogue to commemorate the 2018 World Teachers’ Day.
Obi said that increasing the budgetary allocation for education would help respect the rights of children as summerised under the SDG 4.
“We are not only calling for allocation but for the release of funds and ensuring that teachers are not being owed salary.
” If we really want to create a workforce that would not cause problems, we need to pay attention to education by ensuring children are in school and are being taught and teachers are being paid.
“Anyone owing salaries we must hold them accountable. “
She also called on government to increase the size of the national revenue through reduction of tax holidays .
Obi said objective of the dialogue was to strengthen collaboration with all stakeholders and push for more government commitment to the teaching profession.
The dialogue is part of an ActionAid project called Breaking Barriers and Tax Justice and Gender Responsive Public Service.
Mr Laban Onisimus, Education Coordinator, ActionAid, said the focus of the project was to ensure public education systems were more responsive to all children especially the needs of girls and marginalised ones.
Onisimus added that the project would increase investment in quality trained teachers to support inclusive education.
“The stand of the project is equality, equity and justice. We want to remove the barriers and one of these barriers is that public schools have quality teachers so all children in Nigeria have access to quality education. ”
He added that the three year project starting July 2017 to Dec. 2021 would be carried out in Nigeria, Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania.
Onisimus said the project would be carried out in Lagos and Sokoto states in 54 schools.
The panel of discussants spoke on the theme of the 2018 International Teachers Day “The Right to Education Means the Right to a Quality Teacher”.
They were all of the view that to improve the quality of education, teachers remuneration, welfare, curriculum review, continuous training and retraining in every area of the profession should be paramount.
They added that proper funding for education, improved infrastructure and instructional materials and making the teaching profession more attractive to the youth.
According to one of the panelists, Dr Aisha Abdullahi, an educationalist, “the curriculum is not in tandem to what these teachers meet in the field.
“Unless the curriculum reflects what the society needs, we cannot have qualified teachers.
“We have to look at the mechanism of training and look at what we are inputing in these teachers we are training”.