By Funmi Lawrence
The Federal Government has called for the harmonisation of interventions from International Development Partners and Civil Society Organisations in order to successfully address challenges facing the country’s education sector.
The Minister of State for Education, Mr Emeka Nwajiuba made the call in Abuja on Tuesday at an interactive meeting with International Development Partners in the education sector.
Nwajiuba also called for collaborative efforts towards integrating the nation into a holistic partnership towards ensuring development in the country.
The minister, while speaking on the key challenges facing the education sector, stressed the need for development partners to identify major problems in the sector.
He said there was also need to agree and work together to reposition the education system.
According to him, the national document on short and medium-term work plan, entitled `Harmonised Federal and States’ Education sector blueprint’ was developed to help partners determine their areas of focus.
“Nigeria is getting intervention from all areas of the world including Korea, Japan and others but it’s unfortunate that all development partners are not working together.
“Hence our problems are not being solved, so we need to figure out those critical areas that Nigeria really needs these interventions.
“It should be more about what Nigeria wants to be helped on as well as how Nigeria can be helped other than forcing us to accept interventions that are not peculiar to our needs.
” The ministry is determined to effectively utilize resources from national and international development partners for more robust education delivery in Nigeria,’’ he said.
Nwajiuba added that repositioning the education sector for the 21st century and global competitiveness was important; hence it must become the concern of all.
” We have at hand education disaster and some of us have to be held responsible, all of us who are the managers of this disaster needs to figure out what we are doing wrong
“I observed that there must be a problem because it seems to me that Nigeria cannot develop in one direction when we have development partners from every part of the world who are helping the country in a different direction.
“We have Japan, Korea, American, British, everybody have their own programme to run in Nigeria.
“There is no approval system in the Ministry of education to evaluate what programme people are bringing into Nigeria and decides whether it fits into our goal.
“We need to figure out that Nigeria is a country, please let there be some harmonisation of what it is that we said we want to do and let us have it before you deployed the huge resources.”
Similarly, the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Mr Sonny Echono said there was a need for Nigeria to harness all interventions for the education sector saying that the time is now and urgent.
Echono, therefore, said the government was ready to focus on what needed to be done to reduce some of the challenges of the sector in the shortest possible time.p
Those present at the meeting was UNICEF Education specialists, representatives from the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), Japan International Cooperation Agency (JAICA).
Others are members of the National Economic Summit group and other key actors from all segments of the sector.