JUST IN: Tinubu Approves National Education Data Initiative

President Bola Tinubu has given the green light for a comprehensive survey of schools across Nigeria, spanning from primary to tertiary levels. The survey will assess various aspects including infrastructure, living facilities, proximity, and educational resources.

This initiative will also gather data on the total number of teachers in Nigeria, their qualifications, training, as well as the demographics and academic performance of students across all levels.

Tinubu’s decision to implement these system-wide policies stems from a recognition of the lack of coordinated and reliable data in Nigeria’s education sector, which is crucial for effective planning.

The objective behind this move is to overhaul the education sector comprehensively, with a focus on enhancing learning outcomes, increasing enrollment, and ensuring the academic well-being of the nation’s youth, according to a statement from the Presidency signed by Tinubu’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale.

The statement is titled ‘President Tinubu establishes national education data system and approves skill development for all levels of education, teachers’ training and support nationwide.’

The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund says one in five out-of-school children in the world are in Nigeria. This totals 10.2 million out-of-school children at the primary level, and 8.1 million at the junior secondary school level as the country continues to grapple with banditry, multidimensional poverty, and the rising cost of living.

But Ngelale said the approved policies are captured as DOTS, an acronym representing: Data Repository, Out-of-School Children Education, Teacher Training and Development, and Skill Development and Acquisition.

The information is expected to guide federal and state interventions for teachers’ training and development as well as overall support.

It will also provide data on gender ratio (boys and girls), their specific learning needs, and who is in school or who has dropped out based on daily monitoring with year-by-year reporting.

The presidency also announced the creation of a dedicated portal/dashboard in the Federal Ministry of Education, offices of state governors, and local government chairpersons, which will host and disseminate this information for the federal government, states, and local governments to monitor in real-time.

“This new data tracking architecture will enable the government to track the progress of students, thus having a clear data-driven mechanism for interventions, especially concerning out-of-school children, girls, and those with specific learning disabilities, among others,” it said.

Regarding out-of-school children’s education and training, it highlighted ongoing efforts by the Federal Ministry of Education which it said is implementing the government’s policy through the activities of four of its agencies.

“Already, there are about two million beneficiaries. The system-wide policy will further enhance the education and training of the nation’s out-of-school children,” Ngelale revealed.

On teachers’ development and support, the Presidency said the Education Ministry will support and train teachers in digital skills to facilitate the use of technology in classrooms.

This is expected to bring technology and digitisation to teachers and learners at all levels of education.

It also emphasised skill development and acquisition for all levels saying the President has also approved the National Skills Framework.

The framework is expected to enhance skill diversity in the education sector to effectively equip Nigerian students with the requisite skills, knowledge, and values to become functional and productive members of society.

According to the Presidency, the NSF is designed to “provide the appropriate skills for each level of education that will result in the empowering of generations of Nigerians with the required aptitude for the evolving needs of the global economy of the 21st century.”

“This framework is expected to address skill gaps, quality of education, and unemployment concerns as students will acquire certain skill sets, in addition to general knowledge,” it added.

It assured Nigerians that once fully implemented, these programmes will succeed in resetting learning and connecting the ‘DOTS’ for significant improvement of the overall education system in Nigeria, in line with President Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda.