23,000 African teachers seek jobs offshore annually.

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In the bid to escape the unfavorable conditions in the education sector, about 23,000 lecturers emigrate annually from Africa to other countries seeking greener pasture.

This intellectual flight is “one of the greatest challenges’’ of Nigerian education sector and Africa in general according Professor Musa Aibinu, the Director, Centre for Open, Distance and e-Learning, Federal University of Technology, Minna.

“Some go for further studies and end up not coming back; some go for greener pastures; others run away from the unfavourable condition we have here”.

Aibinu in a lecture entitled “Creating and Sustaining a Qualitative Pool of Education Sector Professionals-Solution Options’ delivered at the 2015 Obafemi Awolowo University Muslim Graduates Association (UNIFEMGA).

“Lecturing has three components-lecturing, research and community service; the funding of research here is very low though TETFund is trying but we are still far below”.

“Again, the decay in infrastructure does not favour basic and applied research- all these factors push our lecturers abroad.’’

Aibinu said that to retain quality professionals, the working conditions of teachers must be improved as he urged payment of universal salary scheme across all sectors.

The don stated that the disparity in remuneration scare people from going into teaching profession while those already in the system tend to look for better opportunities abroad.

He called for the adoption practical field based curriculum with emphasis on ability instead of certificates.

Prof. AbdulWahab Egbewole, UNIFEMGA’s National President, said that education engendered social equality, personal health and enhanced economic growth.

He said that UNIFEMGA was established more than a decade ago and scholarship was identified as part of its core values.

“To this end, our association embarked on scholarship programme at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife for brilliant and indigent students.

“To date more than 300 students are currently on that initiative for both undergraduate and post graduate studies and our association has spent about N13 million in the past five years.

“ It is our hope that this programme will be self-sustaining in the near future.

“To alleviate the challenges being faced by students on campus, we embarked on hostel project for female students with a total cost value of N240 million.

“We have completed the first phase and students of our Alma Mata are already using the facility’’ he said.

Egbewole said the summit was aimed at identifying the various challenges being faced in the education sector and proffer suggestions on how to solve them.

A communiqué issued at the end of the event, called for review of the huge fund that went into unity schools to the detriment of other public schools.

It called for better remuneration of teachers to retain and attract the services of highly trained professionals, among other recommendations.

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