The Federal Government says the education sector is very crucial in the realisation and promotion of the stated ideals of the commonwealth.
The Minister of State for Education, Mr. Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, made the disclosure at an occasion to mark the 2022 Commonwealth Celebration in Abuja on Monday.
The theme of the 2022 edition of the celebration was: “Delivering a Common Future: Connecting, Innovating, Transforming”.
Nwajiuba said that the Federal Government had deployed innovations toward achieving qualitative and equitable education in the country.
According to him, the provision of quality education for all, migration to Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET), access to quality education are recurring issues in developing countries.
In his words, “the commonwealth secretariat through relevant commonwealth organisations has supported national governments, including Nigeria, to formulate national policies and programmes to achieve commonwealth ideals and sustainable development”.
“It is significant to note that the administration of His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, through the Ministry has reduced the number of out-of-school children from 10.1 million in 2019 to 6.9 million in 2020.
“Innovations like Better Education Service Delivery For All (BESDA) is being implemented in 17 pilot states on three result areas: increasing equitable access for out-of-school children, improving literacy, and strengthening accountability for results.
“The Adolescent Girls Initiative for Learning and Empowerment (AGILE) project is also on-stream“.
The programme design is to empower adolescent girls who are either out-of-school or in-school through skill acquisition, financial empowerment and inculcation of other pertinent life skills.
“This will enable them earn a living, remain in and complete schooling,” the minister said.
Also, Mr. Blackson Bayewumi, Country Director, Royal Commonwealth Society, Nigeria Branch, said the theme of the celebration could be redefined as transforming the whole commonwealth.
He said that the transformation would be from the present state of her challenges and limitations to a collective and unanimously desired and expected future societies.
Bayewumi said that the core values and principles of commonwealth could be achievable through connecting and innovation.
He added that this would be done by using different platforms of connecting and innovating in the commonwealth to transform the present commonwealth to a desired and expected commonwealth.
He, therefore, charged commonwealth nations to be committed and dedicated to the core commonwealth values and principles while connecting and innovating should also be accorded more priority.
“To achieve a common future, the Commonwealth Charter presents some specific sets of ideals, ideas, values and principles.
“This Charter was collectively embraced by the Commonwealth Heads of Government and signed by Her Majesty, the Queen of England, the Head of Commonwealth and Patron of the Royal Commonwealth Society in 2013.
“To this end, if delivering a common future should be accorded priority, all member countries of the Commonwealth should equally accord priorities to common values and principles of Commonwealth in the Commonwealth Charter,” he said.
Bayewumi added that the commonwealth nations were faced with challenges ranging from poverty, unemployment, income inequality, high rate of dependency burden, insecurity and a host of others.
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, in her speech read by Fatima Aminu, a student of Federal Government Girls College (FGGC), Abaji, said there was the need for countries to come together to pursue common goals and the common good.
She called on member countries to draw strength and inspiration from what they shared towards having a healthy, sustainable and prosperous future for all.
“In this year of my Platinum Jubilee, it has given me pleasure to renew the promise I made in 1947, that my life will always be devoted in service.
`Today, it is rewarding to observe a modern, vibrant, and connected commonwealth that combines a wealth of history and tradition with the great social, cultural and technological advances of our time.
“That the commonwealth stands ever taller is a credit to all those who have been involved.”
In a remark, the Director overseeing the office of the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, Mr David Gende, said member nations strived to attain and maintain a good education system.
Gende said that this included quality, equitable access, relevance and sustainability at pre-school, basic, secondary, technical and tertiary education.
He added that quality education, equitable access, and relevance to our developmental needs as a sovereign nation could not be achieved without peaceful co-existence, democracy, good governance and linkages that mirror the ideal situation.
He, therefore, charged member countries to share and domesticate best practices through innovation for a positive transformation.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Commonwealth was born by the London Declaration of April 26, 1949 where the Commonwealth Colonial Legacy was positively transformed into a partnership based on equality, choice, and consensus. (NAN)