The United Nations Resident Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Edward Kallon has said the country cannot guarantee technology-based education because over 65 per cent of the 74,280 public primary and junior secondary schools in Nigeria lack electricity.
He said this in Abuja at the 9th edition of the annual Wole Soyinka Centre Media Lecture series tagged: “Light up, Light in: Interrogating the Nexus between Electricity and Basic Education in Nigeria.”
According to Kallon, energy crisis in Africa has, and will continue to be a tragedy to the continent of Africa.
He said out of the 1.5 billion people who lack access to electricity globally, 57 per cent, amounting to 622.6 million are in Africa.
He said; “But the facts have shown that students who have access to electricity have been confirmed to perform better because they have access to modern facilities.”
On his part, the Executive Secretary of Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), Hamid Bobboye, revealed that accounts of the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) in about five states have been suspended due to various reasons, including diversion of resources, among others.
Bobboye, who craved the support of stakeholders in the implementation and monitoring of UBEC mandates, revealed that the pressure to pay salaries has forced some state governments to divert grants for basic education development to salary payment and other illegal spendings.
He said all the data flying around about the out-of-school students in Nigeria cannot be correct and may be grossly inadequate; saying the need for a technology-based data generation is required and must be done pretty soon.
Also speaking, former Minister of Education, Obiageli Ezekwesili, lamented what she termed the gross neglect of education sector, saying there is a correlation between poverty and public school system.
She described the public school system without power supply as an intergenerational dynasty of poverty, saying there is a need to look at public expenditure.