Stakeholders advocate more budgetary allocation to education sector in Ebonyi

ABAKALIKI (Sundiata Scholar) – During a one-day Ebonyi Education Stakeholders Summit, participants advocated investment in education as the solution to the ongoing issues, violence, and conflicts in Nigeria.

The summit was organised under the Accountability for Good Governance in Education (AGGE) cluster programme, supported by the USAID – Strengthening Civic Advocacy and Local Engagement (SCALE) project.

The Development and Integrity Intervention Goal Foundation, an NGO, Youthhub-Africa, and the Ebonyi State Universal Basic Education Board (EBSUBEB) collaborated to organise it on Wednesday in Abakaliki.

The summit was part of activities marking the 2024 International Day of Education in Ebonyi, with the theme: “Learning for lasting peace through community participation.”

Dr Livinus Ezeuwa, the Secretary of EBSUBEB in a presentation during the summit, described education as the only trusted instrument to promote peace and wellbeing in society.

He stressed that education enlightened the mind, creating awareness about oneself, and another person and prescribing the right relationship in society.

He added that a properly educated person hardly fumbled to the extent of creating uninformed chaos in society.

“If we can revamp education in this state, all this violence, unnecessary wars, wranglings, quarrelling and mutual betrayals will be minimised, if not eradicated.

“A society that has a bunch of ignorants, illiterates, people who do not know their left and right, will always experience violence and unnecessary nagging and bickering.

“So, we want to promote education to enthrone tranquillity in society.

“We want to promote education to enable us to live harmoniously.

“We want to enthrone education to enable us to sleep with our two eyes closed.”

Participants pledged to work together to promote education as a method of enthroning peace in the state, while applauding Gov. Francis Nwifuru for displaying a strong political will to improve the education system in the state.

Chief Oliver Ajah, the foundation’s executive director, explained the goals of the meeting, which included an assessment of the state’s basic education sector’s accomplishments and obstacles.

He identified poor funding as the major problem of the sector and advocated sustained increase in the education budget and community involvement in the budget development and utilisation process.

Meanwhile, participants, during the summit, were engaged in individual and group activities from which a manifesto/schools prioritised needs document was developed.

The document, according to Ajah, will be delivered to policymakers, including the executive and legislative arms of government, during advocacy visits and engagements for improved education funding through proper budgetary allocation.

A total of 100 participants, including pupils, teachers, parents and school-based management committee members from 20 selected schools in 10 local government areas, attended the summit.

There were also representatives from EBSUBEB, the Ministry of Education, the media and Civil Society Organisations.January 24 every year is observed as the International Day of Education.

The event provides stakeholders and policymakers with a platform to take stock of how far the sector has faired and what should be done to enhance quality education.