Mamman urges States, private sector to implement NSSE minimum standards

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By Ngozi Nwankwo

In a bid to reposition the Senior Secondary Education, the Minister of Education, Tahir Mamman has urged all State governments, private sector and other relevant stakeholders in Education to support the implementation and establishment of minimum standards.

Mamman gave the charge at the opening ceremony of the Stakeholders meeting on the validation of the draft National Minimum standards and the draft strategic plan for senior secondary Education in Nigeria held in Abuja, recently.

The minister said one of the key mandates of National Senior Secondary Education Commission, NSSEC, as contained in the NSSEC Act 2023 is to prescribe and enforce Minimum Standards for Senior Secondary Education in Nigeria, expressing joy that the Commission is focused on the delivery of her mandate by developing a draft National Minimum Standards.

Mamman equally expressed hope that stakeholders would critique the draft Strategic Plan (2024-2027) for Senior Secondary Education in Nigeria, which was developed.

He explained that the draft document specifies the standards/benchmarks in various thematic areas in senior secondary education delivery.

The Minister enumerated the six thematic areas that were given detailed coverage by the document to include: Teaching & Learning; Quality Assurance; Planning Research & Statistics, Infrastructural Facilities & Equipment; Special and Support Programmes and Stakeholders’ Responsibilities at the Federal and State levels.

Speaking earlier, the Executive Secretary, National Senior Secondary Education Commission, Dr. Iyela Ajayi said the Commission has the mandate to prescribe and enforce minimum standards including intervention in the area of infrastructural development in senior secondary education in Nigeria, adding that, in the last eight months, with the cooperation and support of the coordinating ministry led by Minister of Education and Minister of state for Education, Dr. Yusuf Tanko Sunusu the Commission has continued to implement the mandates of NSSEC.

Ajayi said the Commission has successfully developed a National Policy on Senior Secondary Education and its implementation guidelines.

According to him, the policy is designed to provide a comprehensive framework and guidelines for the operation of Senior Secondary education in the country.
“ The policy is first of its kind in the country and after undergoing different processes, was given final approval by the National Council on Education, NCE, in December 2023 at Lagos. The Commission is making arrangements to launch the policy after which, copies will be made available for all the stakeholders,” he said.

He said the stakeholders would deliberate on two documents, which included the draft, national Minimum Standards for senior secondary education in Nigeria and the draft Strategic Plan for senior secondary education in Nigeria, 2024-2027, saying that the draft Minimum Standards document has gone through different stages of preparation.

Ajayi said after the validation of the document, it would be forwarded to the next meetings of the Joint Consultative Committee on Education, JCCE and finally to the national Council on Education, NCE, for consideration and final approval later this year, adding that when it is done, it would be mandatory for all the public and private senior secondary schools in Nigeria to implement the national Minimum Standards as it would define benchmark for all aspects of senior secondary education in the country.

He also said the draft Strategic Plan for senior secondary education in Nigeria 2024-2027 production plan is one of the mandates of the Commission and to be done with the active participation of all stakeholders.
The preparation of this document, according to him, has taken into consideration the Road Map for the education sector, prepared by the federal ministry of Education, the mandates of the Commission and other policies and programmes pertaining to senior secondary education in Nigeria.

Ajayi, however, was optimistic that the Strategic Plan, when approved, would provide a clear roadmap for the development of senior secondary education in Nigeria in the next four years.