The National body of Academic Staff Union of Secondary Schools (ASUSS) in Nigeria has commended the Federal Government for the large percentage it has allocated to Education sector in the 2016 budget, describing this as unprecedented in the history of budget presentation in the country.
In a statement signed by the National President and the Secretary of ASUSS, respectively, Com. Samuel Omaji and Com Dayo Adebiyi, the ASUSS called for collaboration between the Federal and State governments to facilitate urgent recruitment of professional and competent teachers to solve the dearth of human capital deficiency bedevilling the sector in the country.
The Teachers Union also called for commensurate infrastructural overhaul in all the schools across the Nation, “because no matter the sagacity and competence of a teacher, it amounts to nothing in the absence of modern teaching aids and conducive environment for teaching and learning.”
Rising from National Administrative Council (NAC) meeting held in Lokoja Kogi state on Thursday,10th March, 2016, teachers Union x-rayed the 2016 budget, particularly its content in the Education Sector, viz the Secondary school, the body commended the Federal government for the “the sum of 369.6 billion naira that was allocated to education.
“We commend this very courageous and unprecedented step. This allocation is indisputably one of the largest to anyt sector in the estimate. In fact, it is 6.15% of the budget package. Its our conviction that despite the fact that this large sum is a far cry from UNESCO recommendation of 26.5% of the total National budget to the Education, it can still stimulate the desired growth if judiciously and prudently managed.”
ASUSS was particularly impressed by “The most laudable of this budgetary intervention is the intents of the Federal Government to take an emergency measure to address the problem of dearth of teachers in our public schools , by recruting, training and deploying five hundred thousand unemployed graduates and NCE holders.”
It however pointed out that “these graduates-teachers will be deloped to the primary school sector.” Adding that” our findings, as professionals show that the secondary school sector Nationwide is more desirous of this critical human infrastructure.”
“We also observe , that of the three tiers of education in the country , I.e, the Primary, Secondary and Tertiary, only the secondary which is the bridge connecting the upper and the lower level. is notunder supervisory commission e.g Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) for Primary Schools, National University Commission, (NUC) forUniversities, National Board for Technical Education, (NBTE) for Polytechnics and Technical Colleges and National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE) for Colleges of Education.
“We therefore, call for the establishment of a National Secondary Education Commission in Nigeria which will regulate secondary school education in the country, especially now that we are witnessing increased participation of private investors in the ownership of schools and the declining infrastructure in most of the schools that nurtured 90% of the present leadership in the country.
“While commending the expressed intension of Mr President and National Assembly to transform the education sector, we therefore demand the practical manifestation of this intention through improved attention to the sector. Afterall, it is trite that no sustainable development can take place in the absence of a functional and sustainable education.” the statement added.