The Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) has stated its determination to prevent exploitation of the poor by marketers in education.
The claim was made at a forum organised by the NUT, in collaboration with Education International and the German political foundation, Fredrich-Ebert- Stiftung (FES) on 23 May.
Held in Abuja, the workshop was attended by 220 NUT leaders drawn from all the states across Nigeria. Other representatives included the Ministry of Education, the Teacher Registration Council, parents’ associations, and the Education Coalition of Nigeria.
The conference theme, ‘The Rights to Quality Education: the responsibility of governments’, aimed to enhance public awareness on the dangers and implications of low-cost for-profit education in Nigeria. It also served to raise awareness amongst teachers union leaders, government officials and policy makers about the obligations of governments to provide and safeguard the rights to education. And the conference aimed to develop an action plan for a nation-wide campaign to thwart the growth and expansion of Bridge International Academies (BIA) in Nigeria.
On behalf of the Minister for Education, Professor Ajiboye said the federal government did not support the commercialisation of education. However, he explained that the government supported the private sector in creating access to public education. The FES country director challenged the NUT to remain united in order to counter the issues in the education sector.
NUT President Dr Mohammed Nasir Idrisassured participants that the union would instigate a nationwide campaign to stop further expansion of BIA. The NUT remain committed in the defence of public quality education, he said.