Governments and other stakeholders in the society have been urged to invest more on education, as it remained the only way to end entrenched poverty in any society.
Oyo State Governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde, who made the call while speaking at the 8th Convocation ceremony of Wesley University, Ondo, said that education remains the surest way of breaking the chains of poverty.
The Governor, who was represented by his Executive Assistant (Administration), Revd. Idowu Ogedengbe, said that investing in education would lead to accelerated development.
Makinde was the special guest of honour at the 8th Convocation Ceremony of the Wesley University, where he spoke on the topic “investing in education for accelerated development.”
A statement signed by the Special Assistant (Print Media) to the Governor, Moses Alao, quoted him as saying that it has become imperative to invest more on education, because it is essential in the development of a skilled workforce for the future and accelerating economic growth and development.
Governor Makinde explained that with a more educated workforce, there would be increased human capital development, which in turn would enhance the prospects for better wages and more disposable income for consumer spending.
He said: “Investing in education is essential to developing a skilled workforce for the future and accelerating economic growth and development.
“Entrenched poverty in any society often limit access to education and ultimately leads to an unending circle of poverty. This is why the government and other stakeholders in the private sector must provide the necessary resources to enhance qualitative education.
“Invariably, a more educated workforce leads to increased human capital development thus enhancing the prospects for better wages and more disposable income for consumer spending.”
The Governor maintained that Oyo State, under his leadership, has already taken up that challenge to invest more on education by alloting 22.3 percent of the state’s 2020 budget to education.
According to him, the decision underpinned the Government’s commitment to exploring education to break the poverty barrier and empower the people for a lifetime.
Governor Makinde pointed out that though the Government’s free qualitative education policy, provision of free textbooks and notebooks, provision of virtual textbooks for download, and the recent allocation of 22.37 per cent to education in the 2020, were positive investments, it was still facing challenges in the area of teacher recruitment, training and workforce development.
He called on the higher institutions of learning to concentrate more efforts on producing more graduates in the teaching profession, saying: “However, we are having challenges with teacher recruitment, training, and workforce development and would appreciate the support of our higher institutions of learning towards producing more graduates who will pursue the teaching profession as their career of first choice and not those who only find themselves in the teaching profession just to make ends meet. Our desire is to achieve the UNESCO recommendation of one teacher to thirty-five pupils, 1:35, in the not too distant future.”
Governor Makinde commended the strides already achieved by the Wesley University, noting that the 8th convocation ceremony bore a great testament to the invaluable contributions the University had been making towards the development of skilled manpower for the various sectors of the Nigerian economy.
He added that the university community remained a critical stakeholder in the society, which must be seen to be actively engaging and working together with the government, as there is a compelling need for the gown to consistently collaborate with the town for development to take place.
He said: “No doubt the university community is a critical stakeholder in our society and must be seen to be actively engaging and working together with the government. In this regard, there is a compelling need for the gown to consistently collaborate with the town.
“Let me use the opportunity of this 8th Convocation Ceremony to commend the enviable strides that have been made by the Wesley University Ondo as one of the leading faith-based university of excellence in Nigeria. What we are witnessing today clearly attests to the invaluable contributions that you are making towards the development of skilled manpower for the various sectors of the Nigerian economy.
“May I also use this opportunity to challenge the authorities in this great citadel of learning to consistently build the content of your curriculum to mirror the changing realities in the global community in such a way that graduates have appropriate practical skills in their chosen field.
“Considering the limited opportunities for white collar jobs, what we critically need today is the nurturing of entrepreneurial skills among our youths, particularly those graduating from our universities.”
The Governor congratulated the graduating students, encouraging them to go into the society with a vision to make a difference.