- Oby Ezekwesili said the cost of tertiary education in the country is too low
- The former minister of education said the development is compromising the quality of the sector
- Ezekwesili, however, recommended how the federal government can make education accessible to all without compromising the quality
Nigeria's former minister of education, Oby Ezekwesili, says the cost of tertiary education in the country is too low, a development which she said it's compromising the quality of the sector.
The Cable reports that Ezekwesili made this known on Thursday, May 23, at the launch of Edfin, Nigeria’s first educational microfinance bank.
Legit.ng gathers she called on the federal government to find a solution that does not compromise the quality of education.
“There is a matter of how do you share the cost of getting a tertiary education. Unfortunately, our society did not come to the understanding that even education financing does not have to be a problem,” she said.
“You must have a solution that the pricing of education does not get taken down to the level where it cannot sustain quality. That is what’s going on now.
“We are taking down tertiary education to a level where a person is comfortable to pay almost N500,000 for the children in a top secondary school but once the children go into the university, their parents are ready to join them to protest about the pricing of university education. In the process of doing that, you are compromising quality and relevance.”
Ezekwesili, however, advised that wealthy Nigerians should pay the right price while federal government should subsidise education for the less privileged.
She said: “Those who have the capacity to pay should pay the right price for tertiary education and for those without the capacity to pay, edufinance and a subsidy from the federal government that is well designed will come to ensure that they are not left out of education.”
Ezekwesili who was the presidential candidate of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria said the country is in trouble because the crisis in the educational sector is not being addressed.
She said: “Our country is in trouble because education is in crisis. A decade plus ago, I told the mission that if we did not address the crisis in education that in a matter of years. In fact, my prognosis at that time was that by 2020 that we will produce the most hardened criminals.
“There are people who called me to say you said 2020, it happened earlier than that. As minister of education, I said the problem is not about funding. If you fund a dysfunction well, you will get a well-funded dysfunction.”
Also speaking at the event, Bunmi Lawson, managing director of the microfinance bank, said the bank would ensure access to finance for educational needs.
“We are here today to mark the start of a journey one wherein the future everyone who wants to has access to quality education; where those who need finance; or you are a parent, you may be a student wanting to further your education or a teacher who need loans to improve their standard of living or their teaching skills. All stakeholders in the education ecosystem having easy access to the finance they need is the future we envisage,” Lawson said.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that the federal government said that any teacher who does not register and get license from the Teachers’ Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN) will not be allowed to teach in Nigeria if they fail to do so by December 2019 deadline.
The minister of education, Adamu Adamu, made this known on Thursday, May 23, in Abuja at the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) workshop on commercialisation and privatisation of education.
The minister, represented by the TRCN registrar, Professor Olusegun Ajiboye, said the government would keep encouraging private participation in education.
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