The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, Arc. Sonny Echono has disclosed that the federal government has spent about N1.3trn to provide critical education infrastructure.
This, he said is to demonstrate its commitment to the development of education in the country as well as to prepare and equip the citizenry to be globally competitive in order to effectively contribute their quota to national development.
The permanent Secretary disclosed this on Monday, while declaring open the 37th conference of the Association for Educational Assessment in Africa, AEAA, with the theme: “Innovations in Educational Assessment” in Abuja.
He also added that the present administration is also placing more emphasis on Technical and Vocational Education and Training, TVET, which according to him is borne out of the recognition that TVET is the bedrock of socio-economic growth and development of any nation.
“In achieving these goals, I am pleased to inform you that the Federal Government of Nigeria through the Federal Ministry of Education has developed an, “Education for Change” blueprint from which was articulated a Master Plan document tagged “Ministerial Strategic Plan (MSP) 2018-2022.
“This is intended to provide the road map for an accelerated delivery of inclusive quality education to Nigerian citizens.
“We also believe in partnership and collaboration between the town and the gown, amongst the private sector, government and the academia to deliver a seamless transition of knowledge, research, employment and entrepreneurship and that will be the true engine of growth and development of the economy.”
According to him, the world today is evolving into a knowledge-based economy and the benefits accruing from this phenomenon can only be harnessed by countries with highly skilled and educated labour force.
“It is also universally accepted that there can be no meaningful economic growth without corresponding social development and with the observed increase in unemployment and poverty in our continent , it is imperative to re- appraise and properly situate the relationship between education and national development.
“That is why this conference should serve as a wake-up call for Assessment and Examining bodies to adopt frameworks that integrate technology and innovation to create efficiently while leveraging on the bountiful opportunities which convergence brings.”
He urged participants to reflect on the role of innovations and assessment as they break new frontiers in education. “I believe that erudite scholars, assessors, teachers and students who are attending this conference are going to give thoughts to the creative suggestions and improvements on offer.
In his remarks, the Registrar, the West African Examination Council, WAEC, Dr. IYI Uwadiae said in order to help Africa achieve an overall development in education, it is imperative for examining bodies and all stakeholders to be innovative in educational assessment. “it is my most sincere belief that this conference will help Africa take its pride of place in education.
The President, AEAA, Dr. Litsabako ‘Mamothae Ntoi in his remarks said the theme identified by WAEC –Nigeria for this year’s deliberation is right because it is coming at a time when the world is taking the 4th Industrial Revolution, (4IR) which is a new chapter in human development through extra-ordinary advancement.
Also, the Chairman, Nigeria National Committee, NNC, of the West African Examination Council, WAEC, Dr. Lami Amodu in her address said the theme is timely and relevant even as it is pertinent to note that examination malpractice, which is one of the major challengesin educational assessment has become endemic and “we need to proffer solutions that will bring a lasting solution to this public menace.
“The issue of educational Assessment for learners with special needs should also be of concern to us to ensure that every child gets equal and fair educational assessment opportunities.
The Association for Educational Assessment in Africa (AEAA) is a non-profit making organisation established to promote co-operation, cross fertilization of ideas and sharing of knowledge among institutions and organisations involved in public examinations and assessment in Africa.