A presidential hopeful, Professor Kingsley Moghalu, says the strikes by members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) will be a thing of the past if he is elected president.
Moghalu who is contesting the election on the platform of the Young Progressive Party (YPP) also promised to be an education president.
“We will invest in how our children learn … then we will invest in educational infrastructure and finally, I will end ASUU strikes in Nigeria,” he said at a debate in Abuja on Saturday.
“When I say that I will be the education President of Nigeria, the YPP is committed and my government will make secondary school education free in this country.”
The debate was organised by the Nigeria Elections Debate Group (NEDG) and the Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON) to provide a platform for presidential candidates to tell Nigerians how they planned to move the nation forward.
Professor Moghalu, who offered solutions to the challenges in the economic and health sectors, said he has what it takes to improve the education system.
He added that he would invest “very heavily” in the public school system of the country, saying the education was worthy of his administration’s priority.
The YPP candidate revealed that while only about seven per cent of the nation’s budget is allocated to education; his administration would begin the first budget of 2020 with not less than 20 per cent of it devoted to education.
He, however, noted that this was not enough as increasing the budgetary allocation for the sector does not mean its problems would be solved.
“The YPP has a very strong attachment to education and I happen to be a professor myself, so I have very practical experience in this area,” Moghalu noted.
“The first thing that our government will do is that we will bring to education a political will to make it the priority because the progress of Nigeria rises or falls on the progress of our educational system.”
He added, “We will invest in teacher training, we will re-train and re-certify Nigeria’s teachers at the primary school level, at secondary school level especially.”
The YPP candidate further promised to ensure that they invest in curriculum reform, saying about 60 – 70 per cent of the curriculum would be moved towards technology, vocational skills, and entrepreneurship.
According to him, every young man or woman coming out of an educational system in Nigeria must know how to run a business as “that is how the jobs of the future are created”.