Identify the Issue in governance you want to address/enlighten the citizens about
The issue of continuous poor prioritization of the educational sector needs is becoming worrisome. Over the years particularly in the past 10 years, tertiary institutions have increasingly embarked on several industrial actions (strikes) for various reasons especially financial reasons. The trickle-down effect of this action is a ripple in that not only students are negatively affected but also workers.
Research on the Problem/Issue
The non-prioritization of the educational sector is affirmed by the poor funding of this sector. The major source of funds to this sector especially public institutions is the fund from federal allocation.
A cursory look at the allocation of funds in Nigeria’s yearly budget show that education continues to get low budget attention. For instance, in the 2021 budget, of the 13.08 trillion total budget, only about N732.5 billion constituting about 5.6% of the total budget was allocated to the education sector, making it the lowest in the last 10 years.
Similarly, in 2020, percentage allocation to the education sector stood at 6.7% which is about N691.07 billion while in 2019, the total budget allocated to the educational sector was 7.05% of the total budget.
From the aforementioned, it is notable that instead of increasing the funding of the educational sector to correspond with the expansion of the sector in terms of the number of new institutions springing up and also enrolment into various institutions across all level in the country, funding is rather being reduced.
This has resulted in many challenges faced by the sector. Taking the case of the frequent strikes by tertiary institutions, we see that when certain obligations are not met due to a shortage of funds, they result to industrial action.
This in turn not only affects the study duration of students but also the dedication of workers to their assigned duties which invariably affects the quality of graduates these institutions produce.
Proffer Innovative Solutions
One suggestive solution to this problem is that rather than leaving the funding of the educational sector entirely in the hands of the federal government, all tiers of government (states and local governments) should channel a percentage of their income to the educational institutions in their domain.
Also, the capacity of tertiary institutions to generate revenue internally should be boosted and left autonomous to these institutions so that this revenue can meet a portion of their financial need.
In addition, since corruption has bedevilled all sectors across the country, mechanisms such as the automation of the entire financial system should be put in place to ensure that corruption is checked and all internally generated revenue is utilized for its intended purpose.
Conclusively, if the highlighted issue is considered significant progress will be actualized as far as the educational sector is concerned.