By Uji Abdullahi Iliyasu
Stakeholders in the Nigerian education sector have expressed their views on the state of education in the country in a one-day retreat organised by the Education Correspondents Association of Nigeria (ECAN) in Abuja, Tuesday.
Many agreed that Nigeria might be facing some challenges in the sector, but the standard of education is not falling as many are wont to believe.
The chairman of the occasion and registrar, Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN), Professor Josiah Ajiboye, said Nigeria’s education is one of the best in the world as evidenced in the number of Nigerian graduates being sought after all over the world.
He said Nigerian graduates in foreign universities are sometimes allowed to do doctoral degree with a waiver on masters.
“Over 260 Nigerian teachers are going to teach in Canada only this year,” he said.
Professor Ajiboye said Nigeria has her challenges ranging from insecurity and the resultant rise in out-of- school children, yet a lot of progress is being made in the sector.
He advised Nigerians to look for positive achievements in the education sector instead of always speaking ill of the sector in as much as every country has her problem to contend with.
He added that insecurity in school is a global phenomenon while saying that teachers qualifying examination is compulsory even at professorial level.
The JAMB registrar, represented by the Head of Public Affairs and Protocol, Dr Fabian Benjamin, said JAMB is saddled with the daunting task of conducting examination for over two million candidates yearly even though the board was not originally meant to conduct examination but to regulate admission into tertiary schools.
On the validity of UTME result, Benjamin said it cannot last for more than one year because it is a selection examination but not an achievement examination like the one conducted by NECO or WAEC. Benjamin said, “There is nowhere in the world where such examination lasts for more than one year.”
NECO Registrar, Prof. Dantani Wushishi, in his keynote address, said NECO certificates have been recognised globally. He said there have been confirmation requests from foreign schools on NECO certificates.
“Between January 2022 and August 2022, we have received 490 requests from around the world to confirm NECO results,” he said.
NUC executive secretary, represented by the Director of Research and Statistics, Mr Laurence, said the low ranking of Nigerian universities at global level was occasioned by inadequate local statistics in the universities, now being addressed. He also said efforts are underway to develop curriculums in Nigerian tertiary schools that have direct relevance with industrial sector and the requirements of the labour market.