By: Kabiru Musa, Sarah Odugbo & Wisdom Acka
The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has begun plans to attract alternative sources of funding for the education sector in the Territory.
FCTA Permanent Secretary, Mr. Olusade Adesola made this disclosure Wednesday, while declaring open a 2-day retreat organized to seek sustainable options for funding of FCT public schools and vocational centres, in Abuja.
Adesola stated the FCTA, through the Education Secretariat, remained committed to its vision of providing sustainable, functional and inclusive education to learners.
According to him, the retreat theme: “Building Consensus for a More Effective and Efficient Education Services Delivery in the FCT”, was apt due to the renewed focus on implementation of the Education Sector Plan and conversations on improving funding for public schools through resourcing.
Adesola pointed: “It has become glaring that governments alone can no longer fund education, thus the urgent need to include participation of non-state actors and the organized public sector to strengthen the funding of public schools as well as vocational centres in the FCT”.
He hailed the Secretariat for been consistent in the production of annual school survey, which is a veritable document for effective planning and administration of schools in the FCT.
Adesola also praised them for partnering international development agencies for developing a medium and educational planning, which is a good guide for organized development in the sector.
He, therefore, tasked the participants to deliberate on improving productivity of teachers in FCT schools, evolve credible partnerships that will complement funding of the sector, develop action plan for sustaining training and capacity development of teachers to upscale them in consonance with evolving advancement in technology.
His words: “Our efforts in the development of the plan will come to naught, if the document is not applied with our developmental initiatives. I, therefore, implore this gathering to prioritize the application of the education sector plan in your budget preparation to enhance effective plan implementation”.
The Permanent Secretary urged the participants to engage in meaningful and productive discussions that would strengthen their individual capacities and that of the Secretariat as an institution to improve performance and services delivery.
Earlier, in his remarks, Secretary, Education Secretariat, Mallam Sani Dahir El-katuzu stated that the retreat, in addition to finding solutions to the challenges of funding, would also address issues of security and update participants’ knowledge on their functions in the Secretariat.
In a chat with journalists on the sidelines of the retreat, El-Katuzu commended the FCT Minister, Mallam Muhammad Musa Bello, for resuscitating the G-7 Security Operation as well as the provision of operational vehicles; saying, it would provide them relief to concentrate on handling school management and operation.
Director, Department of Policy, Planning , Research and Statistics, Mallam Sani Ladan explained that the kind of sustainable funding the FCTA was seeeking was not cash, but collaborations.
He further explained that the collaboration could be in terms of infrastructure, training and retraining, as well as community development.
Ladan, therefore, commended some of their development partners such as UNICEF, UNESCO and KOICA, among others, and called on other organisations to also come forward for partnership with the FCTA to continue delivering excellent educational services to all learners.