Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi has called on the Federal Government to declare a national emergency on the nation’s education sector.
The Governor who spoke against the backdrop of the poor performance of students in the recently released results of the West African Senior Certificate Examination, during a courtesy visit to his office by members of the House of Representatives Committee on Education, said the country risks losing many potentials to illiteracy if proper attention is not accorded the education sector.
Governor Fayemi told members of the committee led by the Chairman, Hon Aminu Sulaiman, that a situation where only 31.28 percent of the candidates that sat for the examination made five credits, including English and Mathematics, was quite worrisome, adding that the solution would required a multi–level approach.
While urging the Committee members to look into the mass failure, Dr. Fayemi added that parents, teachers and government have roles to play in rescuing the country from losing its pride of place in the comity of nations.
He stressed that until attention is paid to developing human resources, the country would not get right many of the things that can fast track its development.
Recalling the effort of his administration in revamping the sector in Ekiti State, the Governor said the present administration had vigorously pursued the education transformation agenda which was misinterpreted by some people. He however added that no investment is too much in the education of the younger generation.
Fayemi stressed that government owes it a duty to do what is right, not what is popular, even as he noted that Nigeria ranks last in many human development indices of the United Nations.
Fayemi said: “We have a strong passion here for Education, and in the last four years we have religiously pursued our agenda even though the agenda was not so popular. We owe it a duty to do what is right, not what is popular. If care is not taken, we risk losing many things to illiteracy in view of the recently released SSCE result”.
In his remarks, Hon. Sulaiman explained that the committee members was in the state on an inspection tour of some federal institutions but decided to pay a courtesy call on the Governor whom he described as “a pride to the generation of those who believe in democracy”.
Sulaiman who commended Fayemi for sportsmanship and maturity displayed during the June 21 governorship election said it “is unusual for someone to take decisions that he knows are not palatable to him”. He urged the Governor not to be discouraged as he still has a lot to offer, in terms of service, to both the state and the country.
The committee chairman stressed that public commentaries after the poll have shown that the Governor is a different breed who has taken after activist and former President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela.
He added that Fayemi’s decision to concede defeat is a step aimed at protecting the future of Ekiti State.