1. Gather all past but living Education Ministers and Ministers of State at Obudu Hlls. We know that China would have had all of them shot to pieces. But since that is not in our nature we need to be more realistic in our approach to the problem. So we should ask them to:
-List achievements during their tenures.
-List what they regard as pitfalls in Educational Administration in Nigeria.
2. Make it mandatory that our current education top hats genuinely review and seek the advice of the former Minister of Education Mrs.Oby Ezekwesili at least once a month. Because it was during her period something relevant and revolutionary for education appeared on the horizon for our nation.
3. Divide the Education Ministry into two for higher education and for lower education. Thereafter move them into separate locations for individuality as follows:
-Higher Education for Universities, Polytechnics, Colleges of Education and approved Diploma-awarding Vocational Centers.
-Lower Education for Secondary Schools, Primary Schools, Vocational and Technical education.
To emphasize the importance of the steps to be taken, the two Ministries should be headed by two cabinet-ranked Ministers who are not politicians and who should have terms of office guaranteed and renewable like the Chairman of INEC.
4.Merge most parastatals related to Education under them and create an agency under the Presidency which shall regularly audit through a group of external auditors the hardware and software assets, goals and achievement of these Education Ministries vis-à-vis our National Education Policy. The auditors must itemize the most important weaknesses to the President once in a year in simple unpretentious language and what needs to be done urgently.
5. Close down the Education Trust Fund (ETF) since it has failed in the main to achieve what it was set up for and let the two ministries take over its functions and staff. Same for other parastatals such as the one for the UBE. Thereafter transfer non-personnel funds to the states to use directly on education. The states can also absorb some staff from the parastatals penciled for closure.
6. Set up a new Education Advisory Board to put up polices BASED ON THE OLD EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM OF NURSERY/PRIMARY, SECONDARY/HSC AND HIGHER STUDIES as listed above. With a new and more realistic National Education Policy, we can then move forward to other micro but important issues
7.Make it mandatory for all private schools to pay at least the minimum wage or same staff salaries as those in public schools This means that staff in such private schools can earn more only if they do provide services additional to what is expected of public school tutors.
8. Make it a crime for private schools to offer ridiculous salaries such as N12,000 per month to graduates. The higher cost of running these private schools will be passed to parents by good schools. Those parents who cannot afford it will move their children back to public schools while interest in public schools will grow.
9. Set up local management teams for each public secondary school made up of parents having children in those schools. They are to work hand in hand with each school management and help raise money from friends and private businesses to meet school needs such as landscaping water supply, toilets facilities, some science lab materials, library books but excluding ANY staff costs including security. These of course shall be In addition whatever is provided by the Federal, State governments and LGAs.
10. Government (all the 3-tiers) must look at critical needs of each school both public and private and join hands to set-up time-tables for meeting these needs.
O.O.ODUMOSU EX-PROPRIETOR OF MASON COLLEGE AND PASS TUTORIAL SCHOOLS BOTH LOCATED IN FESTAC
TO BE CONTINUED