By FUNMILAYO ADEYEMI
ABUJA- The Deputy Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mrs Aishah Ahmad, has called for an inclusive, quality and equitable education for the Nigerian child regardless of social status, race, gender, religion and physical ability.
Ahmad was speaking at the the first Global Reunion and Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Federal Government Girls’ College, Bida Old Girls Association, (FEGGICOBIDOGA) in Abuja on Saturday.
The reunion is also to commemorate the 48th Founder’s Day of the Federal Government Girls’ College (FGGC), Bida.
According to, quality and inclusive education is a precursor to economic mobility, growth and development of any nation and sadly, we are far from this ideal.
She expressed displeasure over the report of UNICEF that one in every five children in Nigeria was excluded from education.
” In low and lower-middle income countries, around 40 per cent of children
with disabilities are out-of-school at primary level and 55 per cent at the
lower secondary level.
” The COVID-19 pandemic also exacerbated the disparities in education, causing more than 1.6 billion children and youth to be out-of school in 161 countries.
” As aptly put by the World Bank, we are experiencing a global learning crisis.
“Learning is the operative word, as studies show that cognitive skills of the population, rather than mere school attainment, are powerfully
related to long-run economic growth,” she said.
She said that the consequences of poor education had a ripple effect on youths employability, hence quality education must be taken serious by stakeholders.
She commended the alumni association for its role in not just improving the school, but the general education standards.
” I spoke about the challenges of education we see today in terms of poor funding, the fact that we still have a gender gap in terms of access to education.
” Because it’s not just about educational access, it’s also about ensuring that children go to school and are proficient in the skills they need to survive and compete to survive in the 21st century global digital knowledge economy,” she said.
Ahmad also called for the need to invest more in teachers, give them the tools to deliver quality education as well as provide them with adequate remuneration.
She, therefore, advocated for more physical infrastructure for schools, policy reforms, improving access to school feeding as well as public-private partnership to advance the course of education in the country.
She also emphasised the need for a global technological curriculum to drive knowledge and skills for educational empowerment.
“I think knowledge is really democratised today. Everyone should have access to that. I challenge my fellow old girls to do more for our school.
” I recognise the role that alumni associations play, not just in bringing alumni together, both in advocating and galvanising resources for the alma mater, but for the impact they make on society,” she said.
Speaking on the disparities in education between the North and the South, Ahmad said that a lot of advocacy had been made to bridge this education gap.
She said that the ‘Teach For Nigeria initiative’ and other groups and organisations were working to solve the numerous challenges of education in the country.
” I think that there are public-private partnerships that are ongoing and even the school feeding programme. What this was meant to do was to ensure that children can eat, have full bellies and go to school.
“So I think the future is bright as we identify those challenges. And we’re all working together to make an impact.
“I think studies have shown that we need to be patient to see the impact of all of the initiatives that are ongoing,” Ahmad said.
She called for the sustenance of the various initiatives to have a developed nation. (NAN)