Education: Ezekwesili says Nigeria is consigning the poor to a “dynasty of poverty”

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[Lagos]–The Senior economic adviser to African Economic Development Policy Initiative (AEDPI), Obiageli Ezekwesili has lamented that  leaving children of the poor in a failing educational system will condemn them to a generational dynasty of poverty.

She made this lamentation on Thursday while speaking at the 9th Wole Soyinka Centre media lecture series.

“The children we had in primary school as at the time I worked as head of education in the country, children in public primary schools were 65 to 70 percent, only 30 to 35 percent were in private primary schools.

“Now guess what, there is a correlation between the poor and the public school attendance, what it means is that, the failing public school system is where you have the majority of the poor, now considering that the availability of power is an important factor in the quantity and quality of studies that children do [get].

“Rather than the children of the poor having access to education as a lifeline to improving their class, in other words their social and economic mobility, we are actually leaving them in failing public school systems that are poorly facilitated, we are consigning them to a permanent life of generational dynasty, a dynasty of poverty.

“That is so wrong, we must do something to break that situation,” she added.

Ezekwesili in a report by TheCable also added that it is important for Nigerians to know how much exactly is been expended on Education.

In her words,“When I was leading education in the country, we innovated something called community accountability and transparency initiative. This was supposed to enable all communities to know the amount budgeted for any of the schools and be able to trace the quality of the investment that has been done.

“The quality of education, by the way, is determined by the quality of the teachers in the class room. Another research says we retain better quality of teachers in the classroom when the school system has energy, for some reason, this is what research points out,” she explained.

Hamid Bobboyi, the executive secretary of the Universal Basic Education Board in his address stated that the most important thing is to get data and start planning for the future of Nigeria’s education.

He added that there is no data to know the state of infrastructure of primary schools and that without the data, it was difficult to embark on the needed projects that would enhance the quality of basic education.

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