Former education minister and leader of the #BringBackOurGirls group has stated that a country where education is endangered is an endangered nation.
Speaking during her opening address at an educational summit organised by the BBOG group in commemoration of two years of the abduction of the Chibok girls, Ezekwesili stated that it was high time the nation look into the development of its human capital by giving priority to the issue of education in the country.
Ezekwesili who stated that human capital development is the bedrock of national economic development, and not oil, spoke of the need for the nation to start the building of youths who are the greatest resources of the nation.
“When education is endangered, the nation is endangered. Without education, a living person is dead, that is the importance of education. Human capital development is the bedrock of national economic development, not oil. An endangered education brings about an endangered country. Until we start getting emperical evidence to derive the solution, we will continue with our problem.
“We were already behind but now, with the insurgency we are way behind. There is serious problem that needs to be fix. The root cause of insurgency was that the youths especially in the North East were uneducated, breeding ground for easy doctrination. There were lots of raw materials for the Boko Haram to use.
“We should advocate for public policy and budget that will ensure that issues are in full alignment when we talk about security in schools and quality education. The country should identify the core values that should drive the nation. We must have a foundation in which education system stands,” she said.
The former minister who spoke extensively on the need for security in the nation’s schools also advocated for quality teachers in classrooms so as to improve the quality of education in the country.
“Quality teachers is a huge problem in Nigeria. Years back, teaching profession was prestigious. But it isn’t so now. The teaching profession must come back to its past glory before we get it right in the education sector.
If the quality of teachers is guaranteed, our challenges will be reduced. The nation should also introduce incentives for teachers,” she said.
While deliberating on the topic for discussion, Endangered Education, the panelists which include Secretary General of Nigerian Union Of Teachers, Obong Obong, Education advicer in DFID, Laura Brannelly, Young activist, Fatima Gebi and Dr Mairo Mandara agreed that though the nation cannot undo what had happened in the Northeast, it should ensure that the future made better especially in the issue of education.