The supervising Minister of Education, Mr Nyesom Wike, on Tuesday in Abuja called for increased funding for the training of teachers in the country.
Wike made the call at the defence of 2014 budget before the House of Representatives Committee on Education.
He said that due to paucity of funds, only N2 billion was budgeted for training and retraining of teachers in the 2014 budget.
“Teachers’ capacity is a key to educational development of the country’’, he said.
Wike said the ministry was committed to improving the quality of education in the country.
According to him, the thrust of this year’s budget is hinged on quality assurance and access to education.
He stressed that adequate sectorial allocation to unity schools, tertiary institutions, research and programmes would further enhance the quality of education in the country.
The minister said the budget for 2014 was to consolidate and improve on the achievements of the transformation agenda of government.
He explained that the capital allocation to the sector in 2013 was N71.2 billion as against N49.5 billion proposed for 2014, representing 30 per cent reduction.
“This sharp drop will surely impose constraints and challenges on the ministry’s implementation of policies and programmes’’, he said.
On food subsidy for unity colleges, he said it would be difficult for government to take entire responsibility for feeding students.
On the non-inclusion of ASUU demands in the ministry’s budget, Wike said universities would be in a better position to explain as it would have been allocated directly to them.
In a remark, Chairman of the committee, Rep. Aminu Suleiman (APC-Kano), promised that the committee would monitor the ministry’s implementation of the budget.
“We will scrutinise allocations in the budget’’, he stressed.
According to him, the challenges in the education sector are enormous and deserve serious attention by government.
The 2014 budget for education is N493.45 billion as against N437.47 billion for 2013. (NAN)