From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, New York
Former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Lamido Sanusi, has urged the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to note that the longer it stayed out of school, it was the students who would suffer for it.
This is even as he has urged both the Federal Government and ASUU to resolve the lingering crisis via dialogue.
Sanusi said this New York on the sidelines of a three-day Transforming Education Summit tagged ‘Transforming Education through Grassroots Innovation: A Localised Teacher-Led Approach’ on the sidelines of the ongoning UN General Assembly.
According to Sanusi, who is also a UN advocate on SDGs said the resolution to the is through dialogue.
“Government needs to recongise that teachers are human beings; we are in a country with high level of inflation and salary don’t take teacher anywhere and teaching is a profession that needs to be valued from lowest to highest.
“Our education employees are staff of health establishment too, what we don’t know is that we have lost so many academics, many people who go abroad to do PhD don’t come back.
“Many medical doctors working in Nigeria have gone abroad,’’ he said.
The former CBN boss, who was the 14th Emir of Kano, said brain drain had impacted negatively on the economy.
“It is a crisis because we need the doctors in Nigeria, we need the teachers in Nigeria because we have invested so much in training them.
“Both sides (ASUU and Federal Government) have a stake in sitting down and have a dialogue, making compromises, I believe it can be resolved in good faith,’’ he said.
Sanusi also urged the government to invest in education to encourage teachers to be at their best, adding that teachers were once highly respected in the society in time past, adding that “but now people underrate the value of education.
“What is happening now is that we have people who have moved into authority and who do not value education as the society is so much materialistic.
“It is all about money now and teachers are looked down upon because they don’t have money.
“Most of these teachers have option to do other courses but they chose to educate our children and contribute to our society.
“So, we need to look at our value system and go back to our traditional value system of respecting teachers and if we treat them with respect, we will get a lot from them,’’ he said.
Speaking to journalists on the Transforming Education Summit and the International Finance Facility for Education, UN Secretary-General António Guterres, said Education systems around the world needed “more, not less money”.
Guterres, speaking alongside his Special Envoy for Global Education, Gordon Brown, drew attention to the critical issue of innovative financing for education.
He reminded participants that the “world is experiencing multiple crises”, and governments, businesses and families everywhere are feeling the financial strain.
“Moreover, since the COVID-19 pandemic began, two-thirds of countries have cut their education budgets.
“But education is the building block for peaceful, prosperous, stable societies; reducing investment virtually guarantees more serious crises further down the line,’’ he said
Earlier, Deputy Secretary-General, Amina Mohammed opened Day 2 of the Summit, “Solutions day,” by recapping the need for education transformation; equity and inclusion; a rethink of the curricula and innovation in teaching.
“But loud and clear, we need more and better financing,” she stressed. “We can’t do this with fresh air, it has to be fueled”.
She described education as “a huge ecosystem” that supports many other lofty goals and called for “a sense of urgency” in scaling up projects.
“No more pilot projects, we know exactly what to do” she said. “It’s all about taking steps forward”.
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