Okonjo Iweala Laments onState of Education inNigeria

Education

Minister of Finance and Co-
ordinating Minister
for the Economy, Dr. Ngozi
Okonjo-Iweala, has
raised the alarm over the
deteriorating state of
education.
The development, she said, has
reached a point
where students on graduation,
could not
demonstrate the necessary skills to
make them
employable or innovative in the
labour market.
Mrs Okonjo-Iweala spoke at a
lecture entitled:
Science and technology: The key
to Nigeria’s
transformation, which was part
of the Second
Prof Barth Nnaji Biennial
Lecture series, at the
Enugu State University of Science
and Technology
(ESUT), Enugu.
She said there was need to put in
place
mechanisms to improve the quality
and facilities
available for teaching as well as
for research at
the tertiary level.
“These measures are not limited to
simply
increasing funds available;
collaboration
between higher institutions
(national and
international), a more limited
focus in research
programmes offered, and an
improvement in the
culture of maintenance are all
measures that will
help deliver this end.
“In the case of university research,
findings
should be competition-based, to
provide
incentives to enhance efficiency
and strengthen
collaboration with industry.”
Mrs Okonjo-Iweala further
lamented that the
nation’s higher institutions were
plagued with
inadequate science and technology
facilities and
poor materials for practical skills
development.
“Many laboratories lack the basic
equipment for
thorough scientific research. How,
for example,
can a computer science graduate not
understand
the basics of writing software
codes? Nigeria is
churning out thousands of science
and
technology graduates each year,
but several of
them are under-employed, going
into the banking
and non-scientific sectors,” she
said.
She noted that policy makers
should be aware
that few countries could achieve
development
goals, such as economic
diversification, food
security, poverty reduction, without
the
scientific , engineering and
technical capacity to
handle ‘the challenges.

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