President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday presented an N8.6 trillion budget to the National Assembly (NASS). A major highlight is the percentage allocated to the education sector which is a paltry 7%.
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) strongly condemns the meager 7% allocated to education. It is naïve, perversive and retrogressive.
Like its predecessors, the current Federal Government (FG) has simply demonstrated that it is yet to come to terms with the monstrous challenges facing the education sector. With more than 70% of candidates who applied for admission into tertiary institutions unable to gain admission in the 2017/18 admission exercise, Nigeria should expect an army of idle youths roaming the streets. The security implications are serious and this is what the nation faces year after year. It simply means Nigeria needs more universities, more polytechnics and more colleges of education. Can this tight-fisted allocation take care of the problem?
FG recently admitted that 75million Nigerians are illiterate. The woeful performance of secondary school leavers in the West African Examination Council (WAEC) is didactic enough concerning the tragedy which we are likely to face in the next ten years unless something is done urgently. Nigeria is most likely to produce half-baked graduates in the next ten years at the best or, worse still, educated illiterates.
For example, the May/June WAEC examination results have been revealing mass failure in core subjects like English and mathematics for some years now. Only 38.81% passed in 2012, 36.57% passed in 2013, 31.28% of the candidates passed in 2014 while 39% made it in 2015. Although more than 50% passed in 2016, this should be treated as an isolated case.
This mass failure is a reflection of the failure of successive governments at both federal and state levels to invest properly in education. Whereas the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) recommends the allocation of 26% of total budget to education, Nigerian governments have been consistently underfunding the sector and strangulating it almost to the point of death.
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)