The dialogue will hold on October 24.
The Unity Schools Old Students’ Association (USOSA) on Wednesday launched a national dialogue to confront the crisis presently rocking Nigeria’s education sector.
USOSA is an alumni association of over 100 unity colleges, also called federal government colleges, in the country set to provide a platform for promoting and advising on unity of the Nigerian nation among other objectives.
At a briefing in Abuja, the President General of the association, represented by the Executive Secretary, Ahmed Lawal, said that the organisation will hold a one day national dialogue on crisis in Nigerian education sector.
Mr. Lawal said the event, which will hold on October 24, will involve major stakeholders in education and national security, as well as members of the association. He said it will include presentation of papers from well-meaning Nigerians.
The Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission, Chidi Odinkalu, who is also the Chairman of the upcoming dialogue, said that Nigerians who have passed through public schools have failed in their responsibilities on the younger generation.
“As stakeholders in this system we have a responsibility to the people coming after us and right now, we are failing in our responsibilities as a generation and as a population to those younger people,” Mr. Odinkalu said.
Stating that the solution to the country’s education crisis cannot be handled by the government alone, he encouraged all Nigerians to develop a caring attitude towards revamping the nation’s education system.
Mr. Odinkalu also stressed on the need for a solution to the recurring Academic Staff Union of Universities strike.
“Our children need to be put back to school, their teachers need to be put back to work, there’s a need for a sense of national urgency to bring a solution to that problem, the biggest problem in the country is not people canvassing to rule us in 2015; it is our kids and what is going to happen to them,” he said.
Also speaking, Albert Okumagba, immediate past president of the association, said Nigeria’s major challenge is acquiring basic education and a quick solution to the problem must be produced.
“We have to come up with a bucket of solution to addressing challenges around basic education and that is where children are formed, primary and secondary education is the very fundamental part and we have a major crisis there. We have to come up with a clear understanding of what the problem is and also agree on what the solution will be,” he said.
Speaking to PREMIUM TIMES, the president of the association, Nuhu Kabiru, said enormous work needs to be done in the education sector in other to revamp the system and further stop the reoccurring waste of human resources in the country.
“The educational sector has been neglected for a long time and the amount of work needed is so much, its enormous and we just started it will take a long time to revamp the sector. The good thing is that government is listening.” Mr. Kabiru said
Speaking on national security challenges faced by the country, Mr. Kabiru stressed the need for the country to make good use of its human resources for the promotion of development of the nation and good of the future generation.
“These are potential professors, engineers and lawyer, brave soldiers wasting away, so it’s a resource that Nigeria is wasting away and these are people we should prepare to take away mantle of leadership from us, no country progresses without training its youths,” Mr. Kabiru said.