By Bodunde Tenabe
As part of NIEPA’s contribution to developing Nigeria’s education sector, National Institute for Educational Planning and Administration (NIEPA Nigeria), Ondo hosted its annual epic event widely accepted as one of the largest gathering of Directors of educational planning research and statistics from ministries, departments and agencies in the country. The conference billed to take place between Monday 21st October to Friday 25th October held at the corporate headquarters of NIEPA Nigeria in Ondo City was themed “Transforming the Education Sector Through Strategic Planning: What Planners Should Know”.
In her opening remarks, Director-General of NIEPA, Professor Lilian Salami represented by the Institute’s Coordinator of Programmes, stated that the conference was poised to sharpen the skills of professional planners in the education sector. This she said, is the core mandate of the institute as enshrined in the National Policy on Education. She urged all Directors present to acquaint themselves with 21st century methodology of planning for effective and quality education service delivery which the conference is set to deliver. Briefing the Directors on what to expect in this year’s conference, Head of Training NIEPA Nigeria Ondo, Dr. Sunday Adegbesan said that, NIEPA facilitated this conference to enable Directors of PRS brainstorm on the coordination and development of education policies, strategic and medium term sector and action plans; research and documentation; and leveraging on international partnerships for efficient and effective education service delivery. He further said, the 5-day programme will see seasoned educationists deliver incisive papers on topical issues bothering on strategic planning in the nations education sector.
Delivering the keynote address of the conference, Professor David Olufemi Durasaro carefully dissected the Nigerian education sector. The university don who also serves on the Board of NIEPA Nigeria Ondo, harped on the importance of monitoring and evaluation in educational planning. According to him, planners should know how to identify strategic objectives from the existing goals of the education sector and chose appropriate strategies that would help move the sector from where it is now to where it ought to be. Professor Durasaro concluded by calling on educational planners nationwide to key into the federal government’s many plans to transform the Nigerian Education Sector.
The conference which broke into technical sessions afterwards saw Drs. Akinsolu, Shofoyeke and Ogunsola anchor sub themes such as “What Skills Do Planners Need”, Modern Strategic Planning Suitable for Education Sector” and Strategic Planning and Modelling”.
Earlier in the day, the conference witnessed an elaborate award ceremony in recognition of outstanding Nigerians who have excelled in their chosen fields and contributed immensely to community and nation building. Welcoming the awardees and guests to the event, Coordinator of Programmes NIEPA, Dr. Mrs. Olatoun Akinsolu who stood in for the Director-General and Chief Executive of National Institute for Educational Planning and Administration, Ondo, Professor Lilian Salami, warmly appreciated them for honouring the invitation extended them. On behalf of Professor Salami, she urged them not to rest on their oars but continue to strive to make their communities better places to live in. Dr. Mrs. Akinsolu further told the awardees to see the Award of Excellence bestowed on them by NIEPA as a catalyst for greater works of sacrifice to humanity in general.