Stakeholders have deplored decline in the standard of education in Nigeria. They also called for pragmatic steps at improvement, with a view to developing the economy.
This came up at the finals of the 2021 Enugu State Integrity Debate Competition, organised by the Global Society for Anti-Corruption (GSAC), in partnership with Enugu State Government, Fine Brothers Limited and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Offences Commission (ICPC).
Country Programmes Director, GSAC, Mrs. Amaka Nweke, who called for sustained partnership for the sector, said the competition, organised for secondary schools in the state, could not have been possible without support from the private sector.
She said: “Government alone cannot solve all the problems of education. When the private sector participates in funding the sector, it will thrive better. That is why we are advocating pragmatic steps that will help lift the standard of education in Nigeria, like we are having by this debate competition.”
ICPC’s Head of Public Enlightenment and Education, Mr. Godwin Achile, noted that private participation in the funding of education has become necessary, following enormous responsibilities of the government.
He said the Integrity Debate Competition was a way of promoting knowledge and that it would help students to shun corrupt practices.
While commending GSAC for organising the event, Special Adviser to the Enugu State Governor on Education, Kingsley Udeh, said it was a way of promoting learning and child development.
He regretted that the culture of debates was being eroded in schools. He assured that the state government would continue to partner with organisations seeking to promote learning in the state.
Federal Government College (FGC), Enugu, emerged winner with 255 points, beating Queen’s Secondary School (235 points) and Government Secondary School (228 points) to second and third positions.
The winners went home with N150,000; N100,000 and N70,000 respectively, besides other consolation prizes.
Nweke, who congratulated the schools for taking part in the competition, expressed the desire of GSAC to make it a yearly event.