By Victor Adeoti
The All Progressives Congress (APC), South Africa chapter, says the placement of Southwest states in the recent West African Examinations Council(WAEC) performance index depicts downward trend in the quality of education in the region.
The Chapter’s Chairman, Bola Babarinde, in a statement on Sunday in Osogbo, expressed concern over poor performance of students in the Southwest states at the 2022 West African Senior School Certificate Examinations (WASSCE).
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the 2022 WASSCE result showed that Nigerian students performed five per cent worse than what they did in 2021 nationwide.
Babarinde said there was urgent need for the Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN) Commission to organise educational summit, where all stakeholders in the education sector would proffer solution to the problem.
He said the Commission created by the six states of Lagos, Ogun, Ondo, Oyo, Osun and Ekiti should also set up agenda for increase in school enrollment with provision of educational facilities.
“With proven and recorded advantages and achievements of gathering the intelligentsia in proffering solution, just like was done by the Security Summit organised to improve our security architecture and circumstances.
“We suggest that the DAWN organise an educational summit where all stakeholders in the education sector in both public and private sub-sectors; and international education bodies like UNICEF and UNESCO gather to engage and deliberate on solutions.
“We also advise and encourage the Commission to set the agenda for increase in school enrollment and better educational facilities.
“Making public education attractive and competitive with privately funded counterparts.
“We also call for the involvement of non profit organisations in assisting government educational institutions in the rural areas, especially in adult literary and vocational training by funding and supply of equipment and materials,” he said.
Babarinde said being a past President and Assistant Governor of Rotary Club of Pretoria West, Pretoria, South Africa, with tremendous network with international organisations on partnerships, he was ready to support the Southwest states on sustainable development in the education sector.
“We are calling on leadership in the Southwest to quickly swing into action in stemming the tide in the deplorable state of education in the region to avoid total collapse of our public education, especially primary education.
“The Nigerians in Diaspora are willing to work with the DAWN in bringing about the quality of education to the glorious era of Chief Obafemi Awolowo in the region”, he said.
According to him, DAWN since inauguration has recorded feats in its efforts towards bringing about regional socioeconomic development and integration by organising programmes in pursuit of its mandate.
Babarinde commended the Commission for conceptualising the security summit that birthed Amotekun Corps and its subsequent gains in the security affairs of the region.
“DAWN has organised summits to engage intellectual powerhouses to deliberate and proffer solutions to lingering issues such as the rural security problems that bedeviled the region few years ago.
“We commend the Commission’s role in midwifing the regional security network called Amotekun Corps that has helped in mitigating security issues in the region.
“DAWN has enjoyed efficient leadership since inception which has been sustained and continued with by the present Director-General, Mr Sola Oyeleye, a technocrat and strategic manager of human and material resources,” he said.(NAN)
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