Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, has advised stakeholders in the education sector to be sincere in their contributions at proffering plausible solutions to the myriad of problems in the sector.

The Governor made this known at the 2017 Education Summit, tagged “Repositioning Education For Functionality Technology Growth”, held at the International Culture and Event Centre,The Dome in Akure, the state capital.

He said the curriculum of a functional educational system should be able to address challenges facing the society across sectors.

“It is heart-corroding to note that Ondo State, which was the envy of all other states in the field of education, now parades vestigial relics of the glorious past.

“Virtually all public schools are in a sorry state. No serious society allows such pervasive decadence in its system and expects progress.

“The fact that the Government is seen as the main provider of employment for the citizens confirms the state of monumental failure of the current system.

Governor Akeredolu also highlighted areas of concerns in the education sector such as funding; roles of parents and guardians; curriculum; recruitment, training and deployment of teachers, the school environments and rights of the child to be educated, to be addressed at the summit.

“It is expected that realistic solutions will be proffered at the end of the engaging interactions from the galaxy of intellectuals arrayed to deliberate on the current challenges.

“It is my fervent hope, therefore, that this gathering will consider the whole gamut of the current conundrum which incapacitates our youths rather than empower them,” he said.

Earlier the Minister of State for Niger Delta Affairs, Prof Claudius Daramola had described education  as the bedrock of development of a nation which must not be toyed with or neglected.

He stated that education was the transmission of cultural values and renewal from one generation to another.

“If any nation neglects the development of her education system, that particular nation is gone.

“The society is not static, it keeps on changing because it is dynamic, therefore the educational system must keep along this pace,” he said

In her keynote address the Director-General of the National Institute for Educational Planning and Administration, NIEPA, Ondo  Professor Lillian Salami said government must encourage genuine partnership across boundaries especially the private sector to effectively reposition the sector.

She said there must be deliberate collaborations to make education functional,  adding that government must scale up its levels of funding the sector and also mobilize adequate funds from the private sector through taxation.

“Units and Departments involved in monitoring must be revitalized and repositioned. To enjoy functional education, substantial improvement must be made in level of allocation, efficiency of mobilization and quality of spending.

“There is also need to entrench the culture of hardwork, dedication and critical thinking and unless this is done, the school will not be able to attain its place of pride in the Nigerian society”, she said.

Professor Salami who further stated that government must promote a culture of innovation by prioritizing and providing supportive infrastructure and resources where needed; added that teachers would be motivated to perform better through re-orientation and re-trainning on the challenges of curriculum, pedagogy and class management.

She however, said teaching should not be seen as alternative to more lucrative and fulfilling jobs, but a commitment to developing human capital for the collective good.

In his welcome address, the State Commissioner for Education Science and Technology, Mr Femi Agagu stated that the 2-day summit was meant to address some critical challenges that have not only bedeviled the education sector, but have continued to hinder the development of capacity, social and economic progress which functional education should have addressed.

Mr Agagu, who described education as the best legacy any responsible government can bequeath its citizens, lauded the Oluwarotimi Akeredolu-led administration for the pragmatic and proactive measures it had taken at ensuring that education became an instrument of purposeful socioeconomic change.

The Commissioner expressed hope that recommendations from the summit would be adequate to address the various deficiencies in the education sector and help reposition it for effective service delivery.