NANS to Launch Campaign for Restoration of Quality in Nigeria’s Education System

The National Association of Nigerian Students(NANS) is set to take a constructive engagement approach other than protests in its quest to persuade government to restore quality and sanity in the nation’s education system.

With this change of tactics NANS would in July launch a sustained campaign for “the restoration of standard, peace and security in the educational sector”.

The National Treasurer of NANS, Chinyelu Okolie, made known the forthcoming project of the students union body during a press conference she addressed on Saturday June 17, 2023 at Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike(MOUAU), Abia State.

She specified the issues that would be given attention in the advocacy campaign to include inadequate funding, dereliction of duties, disparity in standards, proliferation of universities, and security deficiencies.

Other identified areas to be addressed are non-payment of salaries, hike in tuition fees, moral decadence, recurring strike actions by unions, infrastructure deficits, importing of foreign curriculum, tribalism, quota system, among others.

“We will not fold our arms until academic normalcy is restored as we advocate for standard and quality education system in Nigeria,” she said.

Advocates for quality education: L -R) Secretary, NANS Joint Campus Council(JCC), Abia Axis, Cmr PreciousOzor; National Treasurer/Convener, Cmr Chinyelu Okolie; NANS Zone F(South East) Secretary, Comr Frank Eme Orji; Vice-chairman NANS JCC, Abia Axis, Comrade Samuel Onyike, and Sec. General, National Association of Abia State Students(NAASS), Cmr Chinonso Chiegeiro … at the press conference.

The NANS National Treasurer, who initiated the project, said that the camapaign to revamp the nation’s education system would be massive and sustained until the set goal of a holistic turn around of the sector was achieved.

According to her, the campaign would be targeted against the myriads of problems in the education system, adding that all stakeholders would be galvanised to root out the cankerworms once and for all.

She said that campaigning to bring back the lost glory of Nigeria’s education system was a better alternative for NANS “than embarking on actions that will negatively affect the growth of education (thereby) bringing untold hardships to students”.

“We are calling on all students and educational actors to identify the challenges they are facing in their various departments and sectors to enable us find asking solutions that will better our educational system”.

The NANS Treasurer, who was flanked by student union leaders, lamented that the nation’s “educational system is under severe threat of continuous decline and total collapse, especially in the last two decades” due to the unresolved problems.

She decried the inability of Nigeria to attain  the budgeting benchmark of 26 percent allocation to education as recommended by the United Nations hence the progressive decline in the sector.

Okolie further stated that NANS was concerned that public schools were becoming out of the reach of the Nigerian masses and the camapaign would aim to reverse the trend.

“The essence of public schools is for its affordability, but in recent times the reverse has been the case.

“The low income earners are unable to pay for their children’s tuition fees thereby discouraging them from acquiring basic education and impeding the growth of education in Nigeria,” the student union leader said.

According to her, it is worrisome that Nigeria has found itself in a situation “where over 10.5 million students are out of school due to financial incapability”.

She stated that her “heart clamouring for change” was being distressed because of  “the high level of insecurity in most of our schools, leading to several repors of kidnappings, thefts and deaths in the student communities.

“It is even horrendous to recojnt that over 1,000 students were abducted from Nigerian schools in the last two ysars (2020 – 2022) as reported by Save the Children International, a nongovernmental organisation (NGO). And the Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack(GCPEA) also reported that between 2015 and 2019, there were 100 reported attacks on schools in Nigeria”.

Okolie noted that even though various interest groups had in the past failed to get the authorities to do the needful and enhance the education sector, NANS would not be discouraged in its avowed mission to make a difference.

She, therefore, appealed to all Nigerians all over the world and lovers of education across the world as well as traditional rulers, religious leaders and the civil society “to look into this matter, work in synergy with us to ensure our education system is restored”.