Indigenous tech giant, SystemSpecs, has called on the federal government to declare education as an emergency in Nigeria, due to the precarious state of the educational system in the country.
Speaking at the Business of Education Summit recently hosted by Edusko Africa in Lagos, SystemSpecs’ Executive Director, Deremi Atanda urged the government and every stakeholder who identifies with the problems of education in the country not to handle these drawbacks with levity.
“People really need to know what it means when there is a crisis in a sector. It means that the country cannot make any meaningful economic development or growth if we don’t fix that sector.”
Atanda also called for the designation of a national emergency coordinator who will be held responsible for organising a nationwide intervention in education, just as Nigeria had for COVID-19.
The call to action by the pan-African tech giant comes amidst concerns for the poor state of education in Nigeria. According to UNICEF, one in every five of the world’s out-of-school children is in Nigeria. Even though primary education is officially free and compulsory, more than 10.5 million of the country’s children aged 5-14 years are not in school. Even when children go to school, the education they receive is often of low quality; based on outdated curricula without impacting the critical skills necessary to compete with children from other parts of the world. One of the areas where this is obvious is Science, Technology and Innovation. The technology advocate, therefore, called for the mainstreaming of coding for Nigerians right from childhood.
According to Atanda, the education sector is a determining factor of change for the development of any country, not just Nigeria, but Africa as a whole.
“Government should embrace more actions and less talk in solving the problems of education which include, but not limited to, lack of innovation, lack of infrastructure and teaching aids, poor funding, and governance.”
The tech expert added that the importance of unlocking potentials in science and education should also not be overlooked as this can bring about innovation culminating in the economic and sustainable growth of Nigeria and Africa as a whole.
“Scientific knowledge allows us to develop new technologies, solve practical problems and make informed decisions both individually and collectively. The potential of science in education promotes scientific literacy and responsible citizenship,” Atanda said.
Themed ‘Unlocking the potential for science, technology and innovation in our schools’, and organised by education information service platform, Edusko Africa, the 2021 Business Education Summit featured several eminent speakers including former Minister of Education, Dr Obi Ezekwesili; CEO, Standage Inc, Dave Gabriel; VP, Product and Education, U-lesson, Desiree Craig; and Dr. Akintoye Akindele, Chairman, Platform Capital.