Former Lagos State Commissioner for Education, Folashade Adefisayo on Thursday, urged the federal government to invest in quality education by ensuring adequate financing, which in turn, provides long-term positive returns.
Mrs Folashade Adefisayo who spoke on News Central TV’s Jasiri on Thursday, January 25, said when children are exposed to quality education, it helps them to reach the full potential for which they were created.
“It is not just about passing exams. It gives you the talent, it gives you the learning, the knowledge, and the critical understanding of the world to become who you were made to be. That for me is quality education,” she said.
Responding to a question on how Nigeria can deliver quality education despite the numerous challenges most public schools face, Adefisayo maintained that the solution lay with funding.
She said if the government paid more attention to the problem of funding, schools would have well-trained teachers, and a more conducive learning space to accommodate more of the ever-growing population.
“You see, we just have to fund education. Education is expensive because you have to have the buildings. It is labour intensive. If you have 20 buildings in a school, that is a minimum of 20 teachers right away. This excludes other teachers, like the specialist teachers.
“It is quite clear that we have to put our money where our mouth is. If you don’t fund it [education], there is no magic coming from anywhere. When we talk about buildings, we have to start thinking about more creative solutions.
“We don’t need to build all the time. There are many structures around us that are underutilised. Why don’t we take advantage of them? Why can’t the private sector work with public schools?”
Skill-based education in Nigeria
The former education boss also spoke on the need to integrate skill-based learning into school education to improve graduates’ employability in the 21st-century job market.
According to her, many graduates are unemployable because they focused entirely on knowledge acquisition rather than skills development while in school.
She urged schools to put more focus on skill-based learning along with academic education to succeed in the job market or their startups, thereby boosting economic growth and reducing the rate of unemployment in the country.