The former Vice President, who was speaking at a one-day summit on education organised by the Unity Schools Old Students Association (USOSA) in Abuja on Thursday, maintained that education, rather than oil and or any other resources is the key to the nation’s future.
“Education is the key to our future, not oil, not solid minerals. For us to rapidly develop this country and improve the living standards of our people, we must focus on human capital development, i.e. education,” he said.
According to Atiku, the one-day Summit could not have been timelier considering the crisis bedevilling the country’s education, including the current four-month old strike by university lecturers.
The former Vice President, who is also the founder of the American University of Nigeria (AUN) in Yola, Adamawa State, regretted that the rest of the world “is leaving us behind and that we need to act first.”
He said any review of Nigeria’s educational challenges should include an overview of the structure of ownership and funding of public schools.
The Turaki Adamawa said numerical increases in schools is not enough without taking into consideration the use of modern technologies such as the application of computers, e-books and e-libraries in modern teaching and learning methods.
He restated his previous calls that education should be the responsibility of states and local governments with the Federal Government setting standards.
It was also his opinion that Nigeria should follow international best practices.
Atiku advocated for the formation of alumni associations in all schools in the country, which he said could work in partnership with other stakeholders to improve the infrastructure and learning in those schools.