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Nigeria/Israel relations: Centre advocates partnership on education

Dr Blessing Ogini the President of the Yitzhak Rabin Centre for African Development, says the Federal Government should seek Israel’s partnership to improve the education sector.

Ogini said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Abuja.

He said partnering Israel on education would encourage young Nigerians to be innovative and inventors.

“Every year we improve on the academic set-up and increase the relationship between Nigeria and Israel. It is for Nigeria to key into what Israel is doing; Israel is doing a lot in terms of education and helping other nations.

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“Nigeria should not pretend its needs to key into this relationship and benefit from Israel, in terms of education.

“Israeli system of learning is very fantastic and superb and it helps students to learn fast, so I advise our government to work with the Israeli government.”

He said that the establishment of the centre by Israel resulted in the launch of the Yitzhak International School in Port Harcourt in June 2013.

He also said plans were on-going to establish a similar school in Abuja that would promote educational teaching and learning under the Yitzhak Rabin Centre for Israeli Studies.

He said the Israeli educational curriculum encourages students to be committed to teaching and learning, to invent things out of nothing.

He condemned the opinion by some Nigerians that education standards in the country had fallen beyond repairs, saying it could be revived with stakeholders’ commitment.

He decried poor budgetary allocation in the sector, which he said contributed to the falling standards of eduction.

He therefore, urged government to invest more on education, particularly University research programmes to move the sector forward.

“You don’t do your budget by allocating small fund to education that is key to development, if we invest in education, do greater allocation to education, Nigeria will go high.

“If you pay the Lecturers very well, they will do very well, Lecturers are producing hand-outs because they are not being paid well.

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“The Universities in Nigeria should be able to go into full research, because without research you cannot improve and government should be able to fund research.

“So, when you invest highly in education and it is properly utilised, you will see Nigeria system change drastically.”

The centre was established in Tel Aviv in memory of the late Israeli Prime Minister, Yitzhak Rabin, a pragmatic leader who repositioned the political, economic and social landscape of Israel.

Rabin who was born in 1922 and died on Nov. 4, 1995, was elected as Prime Minister of Israel in 1974.

He contributed to Israel’s peace building. (NAN)