By Grace Alegba
The Lagos State Commissioner for Education, Mrs Folashade Adefisayo, on Monday called for long term sustainable models that captured educational needs of all students.
She said that this was necessary to bridge tertiary institutions’ admission deficits in the nation.
Speaking during the hybrid launch of Edutimes Africa Magazine in Lagos, she said the nation must adopt long term strategies for students to learn models that would make them productive citizens.
She said millions of students annually enrolled for WAEC and JAMB whereas, tertiary institutions had limited admission capacity in hundreds, thereby always leaving a huge deficit.
“Whatever we do, year in year out we are breaking the hearts of a significant number of our students.
“So, I am also wondering it is time for us to look into the model and try to think of more sustainable models,” she said.
The commissioner called for increased investments into high level technical education, advanced IT and academics, adding that technical education had grown beyond making beads or other crafts.
“We have to build an educational system where every child, no matter what their inate ability, is able to make a choice and go to school and do well,” she said.
She commended Edutimes Africa for its bold initiative and pledged support for the publication.
Delivering a lecture, Mr Ayo Makanjuola, Chief Financial Officer, Millbrook First Nation, Canada, who joined virtually, said education and economy were closely linked in Africa.
He said that a well educated workforce would drive economic growth and development.
Speaking on the topic, “Connecting the dots, Education and Economy in Africa”, Makanjuola said the continent had not evolved to a level where it could develop without proper schooling.
“We can’t have growth without having strong human capital to drive it,” he said.
The Keynote speaker, Mr Remi Morgan, Founder and CEO, Laterna Ventures, Nigeria, reviewed the maiden edition of Edutimes Africa.
He challenged the publishers to always keep the content fresh to remain relevant, while urging them to seek partnerships.
Prof. Segun Ajibola, Chairman, Board of Directors, Bowen Microfinance Bank Ltd., while delivering his lecture, decried problems in the education sector, including inadequate funding.
He called for a paradigm shift in education funding in Nigeria.
“The 2023 budget for example earmarked about 10 per cent for education. By the time the appropriation bill was approved, it came down to about 8.8% but historically the actual spending has always been less than what is budgeted. We need a paradigm shift in that area.
“We also need to cultivate private sector initiatives in funding education in Africa,” he said.
Ajibola called for accountability in management of education funds and a boost in quality of infrastructure, manpower and policies that highlight importance of education.
He said without education, individuals and societies were doomed, and expressed hope that Edutimes Africa would fill vacuums in the continent.
Another speaker from Schneider Electric, Mr Ajibola Akindele, called for various forms of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) including scholarships, donations into the sector.
Speaking on the topic “the Benefits of CSR in the African Education System”, he enumerated efforts of his firm making impact in the sector, adding that CSR had several benefits including positive brand perceptions.
The Chief Executive Officer/ Editor-in-Chief, EduTimes Africa Magazine, Mr Oladapo Akande, said the monthly magazine would be a guide to students and youths to make informed and right choices.
Earlier, Mr Adebiyi Oke, initiator of the project, listed gaps in the education sector and system which the publication seeks to close.
He gave a background of the vision and thanked all team members who worked tirelessly to ensure the birth of the magazine. (NAN)
Edited by Oluwole Sogunle