By Elizabeth Uwandu
Finland Ambassador to Nigeria, Dr Jyrki Pulkkinen has called on the federal government to invest more on human capital and also provide funding for the education sector.
Pulkkinen made the call at the ongoing 11th edition of Total School Support Seminar/Exhibition, TOSSE, in Lagos, themed, “Future of education in Africa”
According to him, four things, which included: accessibility, quality of education; relevance and the teachers are needed to ensure the development of education of any nation.
Calling on Nigeria to improve the education sector, the Ambassador explained, “I think the four points are crucial lessons. They should focus on teachers training. So, how you can train up the teachers for the future is one thing you could actually look out for. It is totally different from United Kingdom, UK and in many other countries, educators follow the curriculum. That is how we think education can be developed. So, who is developing the curriculum? So, it is the teacher who is the master of curriculum and the keeper. Education is basically depending on the level of education of the teachers.
Again, investment in human capital is another point.”
Speaking on the importance of TOSSE, the convener, Dr Yinka Ogunde said,” Our desire is to be the rallying point for everything about education in Africa. To be a platform for key stakeholders concerned about the sector to meet and deliberate on issues.
“However, the question is how can we use education to build a new generation of Africans? If we are to do this effectively, what would be the key drivers?
Improvement in the quality of our teachers; better management of private and public educational institutions; and the integration of technology,” Ogunde noted.
She also called on the government to take proactive steps to improve the education sector. “ We expect the government to ensure continuous training for education professor. This will enable everyone keep up with a fast changing world; seek creative ways of solving the problems within the sector and avoid politicizing the educational sector. Let us ensure we put competent people in charge of the Ministry; among others. “
On his part, the keynote speaker, Prof. Bankole Sodipo, Professor of Law, Babcock University, noted that an increase in the education budget, constitutional amendment that will make education a right, and the involvement of alumni associations were basic things needed to restructure the sector.