The Head, West African Examinations Council International, Mr. Adelowo Maliki, has advised the Federal Government to open more schools to accommodate millions of school-aged children roaming the streets.
Maliki said on Wednesday in Lagos that building more schools and equipping them with latest facilities and professional teachers would help in improving the state of education in the country.
He explained that WAEC, as an examination body, did not feel that it was enough just to set tests for students and end it there.
He said, “Our main task, aside conducting examination, is also to research into education-related issues and seek ways of coming up with solutions.
“We have realised that some of the key challenges are inadequate schools, ill-equipped schools, and lack of professional teachers.
“The development is a major challenge in our effort to move forward as a nation.
“One of the ways we try to give back to the society, as our corporate social responsibility, is by noting these challenges and organising seminars that will benefit the teachers and students.
“This is mainly handled by the research unit of the council.
“We organise monthly seminars for these people as we want them to have feedback on what we are doing for them.”.
Maliki said that the seminars were mostly targeted at the teachers at the secondary school level.
He said that the seminar was supposed to be taken round the country, but due to paucity of funds, was concentrated more in Lagos.
In addition to the need for the more public schools across the country, Maliki said government should recruit more teachers and improve their welfare.
He said, “Building more schools entails recruiting more qualified teachers and putting in place improved welfare package for them.
“I say this because another challenge facing the sector currently is the huge distraction facing the teachers.
“Just like the students, there are so many things competing for their attention, especially in the face of the current economic recession.
“These teachers are human and attend the same markets like every other person.
“So, if what they get is not enough to cater for their basic needs, then what is available becomes the next option for them.”