Security challenges undermining education – Parents, teachers cry out
The National Parents Teachers Association of Nigeria has called for a collaboration between academic unions in tertiary institutions and the Federal Government to improve the nation’s quality of education in 2024.
It also described the insecurity being witnessed in parts of the country as a major challenge affecting the sector.
The Deputy National President, NAPTAN, Adeolu Ogunbanjo, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Friday.
He was giving his assessment of the sector in the outgoing year and expectations for 2024.
Ogunbanjo said the education sector in the outgoing year had done well, but there was room for improvement.
He said that could be achieved if the unions and government could work together.
“The entire idea and focus of both the academic unions and government should be to see our education sector progress to the next level, against the unnecessary rancour.
“Agitation for a salary increase, wages, allowances are good, but at the same time, strike is not the way, because it is at the detriment of the students, however, you look at it.
“The University ASUU strike, IPPIS and all these casual distractions should not repeat themselves next year! stakeholders must play their part and play it well,” he added.
The NAPTAN Deputy National President identified insecurity as a major challenge affecting the sector.
He said it was an area that the military and security agents must prioritise in 2024.
“Another thing threatening education is the issue of security; it’s a serious problem and a challenge that requires adequate attention in the coming year.
“The military and security agents must, as a matter of fact, approach this issue, with stern measures to stop kidnapping in our schools to restore the confidence of both students and parents,” Ogunbanjo said.
Speaking on the Students Loan Bill, Ogunbanjo said that Nigerians were full of expectations as the implementation was to take effect in 2024.
He appealed to the FG to make the loan accessible.
“Too many stringent processes will defeat the purpose or idea behind the student loan.
“I, hereby, appeal to the Federal Government to make it accessible and seamless so that people can actually benefit,” he said.
Ogunbanjo also called on ASUU to look into service delivery and tackle the issue of missing results.
“ASUU should seek to improve on their services to the universities, students and parents.
“Missing results are usually common in federal institutions, which cannot happen in the private.
“ASUU must look into these complaints and ensure that members of staff are dedicated to the job and deliver appropriately,
“I have a series of complaints from parents and students on this issue.”
Meanwhile, he commended the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board for not increasing the examination fees in 2024.
Ogunbanjo begged the FG to consider more grants for tertiary institutions, as it would go a long way in their research work, being a fundamental aspect of university programmes.
Recall that the FG had voted N50 billion in the 2024 budget for the implementation of its student loan scheme, as contained in the details of the 2024 budget appropriation.
Tinubu, who spoke at the 29th National Economic Summit in November, insisted that the student loan scheme was a more sustainable model for funding tertiary education and increasing citizen’s access to higher education
He said, “By January 2024, the new student loan programme must commence. To the future of our children and students, we are saying no more strikes.
“To address long-standing issues in the education sector, a more sustainable model of funding tertiary education will be implemented, including the Student Loan Scheme scheduled to become operational by January 2024.
“Human capital is the most critical resource for national development. Accordingly, the budget prioritises human development with particular attention to children, the foundation of our nation,”