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8-Year Scorecard: Matching Buhari’s promises to his actions in education sector

Edugist presents a scorecard of Buhari’s administration in education based on promises made during his 8-year tenure and achievements highlighted by the office of the presidency.
President Buhari 8-Year Scorecard
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The Buhari-led administration takes a bow out of office on Monday, May 29, 2023, exactly eight years after being inaugurated as the elected president of Nigeria. Highlighting the administration’s achievements, the office of the presidency released a 90-page factsheet on the strides achieved in each sector in line with the president’s promises to the people. 

Edugist presents a scorecard of Buhari’s administration in education based on promises made during his 8-year tenure and achievements highlighted by the office of the presidency.

Buhari-led administration
President Buhari during first inauguration ceremony as president in 2015

2015 – A promise of Change 

At the 2015 inauguration of the Buhari-led administration, the following were the promises to revamp the education sector:

  • Fully review provisions of the Universal Basic Education Act with emphasis on gender equity in primary and secondary school enrolment while improving the quality and substance of our schools
  • Target up to 20% of the annual budget for this critical sector whilst making substantial investments in training quality teachers at all levels of the educational system
  • Ensure significant reduction in exam malpractice and implement a performance-based education predicated on outcomes, skills, and competencies as against the current certificate-based qualification
  • Enhance teacher training and improve the competence of teachers in light of the 21st Century 
  • Provide one meal a day for all elementary/primary/Almajiri schools 
  • Develop and promote effective use of innovative teaching methods/materials in our schools
  • Ensure a greater proportion of expenditure on university education is devoted to helping our youth to understand the juxtaposition of Science, Technology, the Humanities and the Social Sciences
  • Establish at least six new Universities of Science and Technology with satellite campuses in various states 
  • Establish technical colleges and vocational centres in each state of the federation
  • Provide more conducive environment for private sector participation in all levels of education
  • Establish six centres of excellence to address the needs of special education
  • Address the out-of-school children phenomenon.
Matching Buhari's promises to his actions in education sector
President Muhammadu Buhari delivering his speech at the flag off of the 2019 presidential campaign

2019: The Next Level Mantra

In 2019, during his ‘NEXT LEVEL’ election campaign, President Muhammadu Buhari made 30 promises to Nigerians, six of which were focused on education. In his words, “Perhaps our biggest ambition yet, is the overhaul of our education sector. Every child counts and whatever it takes to prepare our teachers’ curriculum and classrooms to attain the right educational goals to grow our country, will be done”. The promises are highlighted as follows:

  • Expand the school feeding programme from 9.30 million to 15 million children, creating 300,000 extra jobs for food vendors and farmers
  • Reinterpret the education curriculum through coding, robotics, animations and design thinking
  • Retrain teachers in public primary and secondary schools to deliver digital literacy
  • Remodel and equip 10,000 schools per year
  • Expand the social investment program so as to eradicate poverty

Buhari's promises for education sector

Achievements recorded 2015-2023

The challenges faced by Nigeria’s education sector seem to increase as the years go by. Despite describing education as Nigeria’s launch pad to a more productive and prosperous future and making several promises to overhaul the sector, the Buhari-led administration has failed to make true all its promises. However, the administration recorded a number of achievements. 

  • Jobs, Training & Capacity Building: More than 100 qualified young Nigerians awarded full international scholarships for undergraduate/graduate courses in rail engineering and transport in China since 2018.
  • Increased Funding for Tertiary Institutions/State Governments: Committed over 2 trillion Naira of capital intervention to Nigeria’s tertiary institutions, through various means, including TETFund. The Federal Government also disbursed more than 240 billion Naira in UBE Matching Grants to States.
  • More Universities Licensed: The Buhari Administration has licensed 94 additional Universities, taking the total number of registered Universities in Nigeria from 128 to 222  (10 federal universities, 22 State universities, and 62 private universities)
    Buhari's promises for education sector
    President Buhari performing the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of the University of Transportation, Daura, Katsina [Twitter/@BayoOmoboriowo]
  • Out-of-school-children: Recorded a reduction in the number of out-of-school children by 3,247,590, as of 31st December 2020. Also, launched the Alternate School Programme (ASP) to ensure that every out-of-school child in Nigeria gains access to quality basic education. Also, launched the At-Risk-Children Project (ARC-P) to facilitate programmes that will ensure the integration of at-risk (i.e., lacking basic education and social protection) children and young adults, creating opportunities for lifelong skills and empowerment.
  • Teacher Welfare & Training – Extended retirement age of 65 and length of service of 40 years for Teachers in Public Basic and Secondary Schools in Nigeria. Approved a special teacher salary scale and a new special teachers pension scheme.
  • Girl-child Education: Partnered with the World Bank on the Adolescent Girls Initiative for Learning and Empowerment, (AGILE) project. So far, three million girls have benefited from the project.
  • Strategic Partnerships: Under the World Bank-supported Innovation Development and Effectiveness in the Acquisition of Skills (IDEAS) Project, approved in 2020, US$200m is being invested in 6 participating States (Abia, Benue, Ekiti, Gombe, Kano, Edo) as well as in 20 Federal Science and Technical Colleges nationwide.
  • Infrastructure Development:  Established 9 new federal Colleges of Education (with at least one per geopolitical zone namely), established eight new federal polytechnics, and approved 16 new federal science & technical colleges (FSTC)

READ ALSO: World Bank Releases Additional $7 Million to Develop Nigerian Girls


Buhari's Education Achievements recorded 2015-2023

Overall, while the administration has indeed made some significant strides in the education sector, there are still several challenges yet to be tackled.

As the Bola Ahmed Tinubu-led administration gears up to take over the mantle of leadership on Monday, May 29, critical steps must be taken to address the mammoth of challenges affecting the education sector in Nigeria.  

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