By Funmilayo Adeyemi
Abuja, – The Joint Education Stakeholders Action Coalition (JESAC), has asked presidential candidates in the 2023 General Elections to commit themselves to reforming the education by signing their manifestos.
The Convener/National Coordinator of JESAC, Mr Ike Onyechere, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), in Abuja on Thursday.
Onyechere, who is also the Chairman, Exam Ethics Marshals International (EEMI), said that the challenges in education called for a new collective bargaining strategy by stakeholders.
He noted that history and current realities had shown that post-election strike actions, shutting down of public institutions and disruption of academic activities, had proved unsuccessful as a collective bargaining chip in education.
“Let us engage our potential political leaders now. After the election will be too late.
“To qualify for the support and vote of over 30 million education stakeholders, the Education Reform Manifesto of the candidate is required to proffer specific answers to specific problems.
“For example, how does the candidate intend to end systemic corruption, examination malpractice, academic dishonesty, racketeering, extortions and scams in education, to restore its moral foundation, infrastructure, regulatory and inspectorate frameworks?
“What is the plan for restoring the universal code of ethics, truth, honesty and integrity that govern the search for and dissemination of knowledge?
“What are specific plans to enhance safety and security of schools and for eradication of cultism and sexual harassment?”.
Onyechere said that “Project JESAC 2023”, had started with the process of identifying education-friendly candidates with clear, bold, courageous, visionary, strategic, and out-of-the-box actions plans for addressing structural and systemic challenges in education.
He said this would be done through a critical assessment of their education reform manifestos.
“It has been observed that majority of the education manifestos so far released by candidates for presidential, gubernatorial, senatorial, house of representatives and state houses of assembly are hidden behind scant generalisations.
“And these provide no specific reform initiatives for addressing specific aspects of the challenges in education.
“It also makes it difficult to empirically, objectively and comparatively analyse proposed interventions for relevance and potential impact.
“Generalisations will also make it difficult to assess levels of performance or non-performance of elected candidates,” he said
He, therefore, called on stakeholders to join in signing the online petition for comprehensive education manifesto by election candidates through the link: https://chng.it/vLw2hxXpfX.
NAN reports that JESAC is an action coalition of concerned education stakeholders with membership profile of more than 30 million citizens that include parents, students, staff, leaders, professionals and others.
An initiative of EEMI, JESAC is mobilising members to move away from being passive political observers to proactive political playmakers and game changers to identify, support and vote only education-friendly political leaders. (NAN)