Dr Tunde Adekola, Senior Education Specialist at the World Bank country office, on Wednesday in Abuja expressed optimism that Nigeria would attain 2015 deadline for Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) on education.
Adekola said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) while commenting on the World Bank projects on education in Nigeria.
“I am sure Nigeria will achieve MDG goals, but it is not an issue of attaining the 2015 goal; but the issue of looking back to where we were in five,10 to 20 years ago and where we are now.
“We also have to look at the mileage which Nigeria has covered and we will appreciate that Nigeria has really improved in terms of providing education for all.”
According to him, the World Bank and other global partners are making efforts to assist Nigeria in meeting the MDGs target in education and Education For All (EFA) target by the year 2015.
He added that the bank proposed to have a global partnership on education projects which would be based on the development of schools across the country.
Adekola further explained that the project would be of global standards, to ensure that educated children were different from others.
He said that global partnership for education would involve development partners such as UNESCO and the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
Adekola said the projects would cost about 100 million dollars.
The official said that 16 states would benefit from the project, including Jigawa, Kano, Sokoto, and Katsina.
“We want to bring more children into school and our major effort will be to support the basic education in the northern part of the country.
“This will also create an opportunity to ensure that more girls attend schools, especially in the Northern part of the country.
“Whereas in the south, we are focusing more on post basic education, which is about skills acquisition, especially for the boys.”
The World Bank official further stated that the institution was also working with other government agencies to carry out advocacy programmes, to sensitise people to the importance of education.
He spoke of the need to place more emphasis on importance of sending children to schools, saying ‘’this will be an added advantage for Nigeria to achieve MDG goals in education’’.
“We need a lot of advocacy; people must understand that sending children to school is an investment into the future of any state and in any country.
“More importantly, people must understand the difference between a child that goes to school and child that does not attend any.” (NAN)