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The federal government has stated that the new education policy it was fashioning out for the country would compel private schools at all levels to drastically reduce their fees.

Minister of Education, Prof. Tahir Mamman, stated this at the maiden quarterly Citizens and Stakeholders Engagement on Nigerian Education Sector Ministerial Deliverables.

He said the government had put measures in place to reposition the nation’s education sector, adding that by the time we’re done, private schools will run out of business and scale down the amounts they’re charging our students.”

Speaking on fake certificates, the Minister said:”Talking about accreditation of certificates, some two, three months ago, the issue of fake certificates flooded the country and a high-powered interministerial committee was set up.

“That committee is rounding off its work. And from what I heard, we have major breakthroughs about fake certificates flooding this country.

“So, as we promised earlier on, once we get the report, not only will it help the ministry strengthen its recognition and accreditation of certificates but those who patronize fake certificates will have themselves to blame.

“This is because we are going to trace them with the help of security agencies, to their employers so they are all flushed out of the system. And in appropriate cases investigated.”

Speaking further, Prof. Mamman disclosed that over two million Almajiri children have been lifted from the street and enrolled in school Arabic literacy programmes to acquire basic education and vocational training.

The minister mentioned many successful strides recorded by his administration since assumption of office, under the ministry’s 23 deliverables handed down by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to his ministry.

According to him, the mechanism established by the ministry for inter governmental relations had helped in building public private partnerships, brought about an increment in school enrollment, transition and completion for learners especially those with disabilities.

Mamman, who noted that the reduction of out of school children in Nigeria was one of the major focuses of the current administration, gave assurances that before the end of the year, many more children out of school would be brought back to acquire learning and skills.

“2,000,000 out of school children, Almajiri were enrolled in basic education and an Arabic literacy programme with vocational training. Developed the guidelines and training manuals for the implementation of inclusive basic education Nigeria.

“These have increased access, enrollment and retention, completion of both basic, secondary and tertiary school levels.”

The minister also revealed that in the last six months, 70,674 teachers and non-teaching staff from across all levels of academic and non-Academic training institutes were trained; 2,122 students were awarded Nigerian scholarship awards, 2,889 students studying abroad benefitted from bursary awards amongst other scholarships.

In addition, the minister further revealed that the ministry was at the verge of signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the private firm on the PPP model, to overcome the challenges of data confronting the education sector.

While lamenting that students were receding into illiteracy, Mamman said one way to address the learning crisis in the country was to infuse skills and digitisation into the education system beginning from primary schools.

To this end, he said there was a need to review the curriculum to accommodate new teaching methods that give room for skills and digitisation.

“We cannot go into the next century with this situation; students who cannot think, who cannot communicate amongst themselves, who cannot collaborate, who don’t have these soft skills and have problems with access to digital facilities.

“That’s why we have so many out of school children because first, they don’t see the value of going to school so we want to introduce skills and digitization from primary school.

“Those of us who went to school, especially in the 60s, 70s we were beneficiaries of what was then called comprehensive Secondary School where they were the regular courses.

“There was a section on commerce and there was a separate section on trades.”

The minister who described the recent kidnap of three students of the University of Calabar as sad, said the government was developing a safe school agenda with a view to giving protection to schools and students.

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