The Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has attracted much attention on the international stage when announced his Governments bold plan to make tertiary education free for students of technology and science.
He also announced that his government is collaborating with development partners so that a transparent program for conditional cash transfer that may be implemented. This will be directed towards the section of the populace who are the most vulnerable and the poorest.
The full program is set to be unveiled in a few weeks and will be milestone of historic importance not only for his country but for the developing world at large. In course of the announcement as part of his budget speech he said that $1.8 billion will be spent in order to enhance the quality of education.
This initiative comes in the wake of the awareness that Nigeria cannot rely on oil prices alone in order to support their economy in the years to come and will definitely encourage more students to develop their skills in the chosen field. Nigeria needs to stop the brain drain and provide educational opportunities to the various levels of society especially when it comes to subjects which fall in the STEM category. This will aid in the indigenous development of industries too.
However the major hurdle or challenge faced by the Nigerian educational system is to ensure that the teaching staff is qualified enough to deliver on the ground level. This will serve as a barrier in encouraging students to take up this line of profession. However the increase in educational funding is indeed welcome.
The government will also collaborate with local and provincial governments in its ambitious and emergency measure to recruit, train and engage no less than 500,000 graduates who are still unemployed.
It is hoped that this will help to fill in the gaps of the acute teacher shortage experienced by public schools across Nigeria.In his speech President Buhari stated that the teachers thus recruited will be placed in primary schools which will help to ease the shortage of teachers especially the rural ones.