Sunday, January 20, 2019 12:06 am
Three candidates in the forthcoming presidential election have promised to improve the quality and standard of Nigerian education and health sectors.
The Presidential Candidates are Prof. Kingsley Moghalu of the Young Progressives Party (YPP), Mr Fela Durotoye of Alliance for New Nigeria (ANN) and Mrs Oby Ezekwesili of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN),
The gave the promise while featuring at the 2019 election debate organised by the Nigerian Election Debate Group and the Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria on Saturday in Abuja.
Ezekwesili, who was former Minister of Education, said that 60 per cent of Nigerian children did not have access to education, adding that the primary, secondary and tertiary education in Nigeria required comprehensive reforms.
The ACPN Presidential candidate said that modernising the teaching and training the teachers would be her priority, saying “we must modernise teaching”.
“We will take teaching to be prestigious profession by training the teachers and equipping them with the new knowledge in the sector.’’
Ezekwesili, who described public school as the basis of lifting people out of poverty, said that her administration would give greater power to the Teacher Regulatory Council to improve the sector.
On health, she said that there would be improvement in the health facilities as well as the connectivity between the facilities and wellbeing of Nigerians.
Durotoye, who also pledged to focus on improved education, said that the country must invest in education infrastructure, saying the education environment must be something that is pleasing to anyone who want to learn.
He added that efforts must be geared towards ensuring that teachers were committed to the success of the children and their future, not just to pass examination.
“We must make sure that there is specialisation and teachers take regular exams to keep in touch with what is going on within their field of specialisation.’’
Durotoye, who described public education as platform that create opportunity for all, said that his administration would provide free transportation for students to and from schools.
He said that his administration would also enforce the law to prosecute any parent that did not allow his child to go to school.
He added that he would also set up evening programme to accommodate those who could not go for morning classes, according to the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN.
Durotoye said that the government of ANN would give free healthcare to aged people above 60, children below five years and pregnant women.
On his part, Moghalu said that his administration would make education a priority as well as end Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) strike.
Moghalu said that today the budget for education was just seven per cent, promising that his government would increase it to 20 per cent.
He stressed the need to recertify the teachers, reform education curriculum for more innovation and vocational skills.
“We will invest in teachers training and recertify Nigerians teachers at all sector. 60 per cent of the education curriculum has to be towards innovation and entrepreneurship,’’
Moghalu also pledged that his administration would offer free secondary education in public schools.
On health sector, Moghalu promised that he would improve the quality of healthcare, while also ensuring that each geo-polical zone has a world class hospital.
The Presidential Candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Muhammadu Buhari, and that of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar also scheduled to participate in the debate were both absent.
While Buhari was not present, Abubakar who appeared briefly at the beginning left the venue, without participating.
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