Stakeholders in Education Sector Urge New Minister to be Proactive

Some stakeholders in the education sector on, Saturday urged the new Minister of Education, Ibrahim Shekarau, to establish a stable academic calendar and peaceful atmosphere in the country.

The educationists told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the minister should strive to resolve the myriads of issues that had made it impossible for the sector to thrive.

It would be recalled that President Goodluck Jonathan had on July 9, appointed the former Governor of Kano State, Shekarau, as the new Minister of Education.

Prof. Ralph Akinfeleye, Chairman, Multi Media Centre, University of Lagos told NAN that much was being expected of the minister in all areas of the sector.

Akinfeleye said that the minister should move away from the path that was towed by his predecessor in order to succeed.

He said that the minister must address the crisis rocking the polytechnic sector as soon as possible, to protect the future of the country.

``We are expecting him to do better taking into consideration his record as governor of Kano, and as a former teacher, than some of his predecessor who have no background in education.

``As a minister, you must ensure that there is stability in the academic calendar; address all labour issues, welfare of the education workforce should be priority.

``The minister must meet the demands of Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics and the Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union so that the institutions will re-open.

``The situation in the polytechnic is really embarrassing; our children in the polytechnics and colleges of education are at home for over 10 months,’’ he said.

Akinfeleye also urged the minister to ensure that all pending agreements reached with the Academic Staff Union of Universities are honoured.

Prof. Sat Obiyan, the Head of Political Science Department, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife told NAN that the stability of the sector should be the utmost priority of the minister.

Obiyan said that the education sector has been characterized by strikes and protests.

According him, not much can be achieved in the midst of crisis, lamenting the incessant strike that bedevikked the country the education sector has suffered a lot of setbacks in recent times due to strike.

``The new minister should meet all agreement of various unions, adequate funding and ensure accountability where needed," he said.

Mr Omobayo Raheem, Dean Student Affairs, Yaba College of Education urged the minister to as a matter of urgency revamp the education sector,

``The new minister inherited so many unresolved issues in the sector, so he must urgently tackle the problems to make in order to make a headway," he said. (NAN)