UBEC blames states for poor delivery of basic education

Hammid Bobboyi

As public primary and secondary education across the country grapple with varying degrees of issues around quality and infrastructure, the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) has blamed the situation on poor commitments of many state governments.

The commission, which lamented lack of zeal to the promotion and development of basic education sub-sector, accused the states of neglecting their roles in the proper delivery and implementation of basic education objectives.

Executive Secretary of the Commission, Dr. Hammid Bobboyi, while presenting a paper titled, “Wither Basic Education in Nigeria,” at the yearly education summit organised by the Education Writers’ Association of Nigeria (EWAN), expressed displeasure at the attitude of some of the state leaders on issues of basic education.

Bobboyi, represented by his Deputy, Dr. Sharon Oviemuno, revealed that a total of N76, 119,051,481.86 representing 20 per cent of the total matching grants of N380, 052,513,491.76 released to the agency as at October 31, 2017, are yet to be accessed by the state governments.

He said so far, the commission has judiciously utilized N303, 933,462,013.90 representing 80 per cent of the total matching grants to revive the sector.

The commission listed other challenges confronting it to include the huge figure of out-of-school children and youths including the Almajiri and children with special needs and getting them into basic education schools; low level of budgetary allocation to basic education at state and local Government levels; dwindling government revenue at all levels; general insecurity in schools occasioned by insurgency, kidnapping, rape, among many others.

“Therefore, we must build on a rich intellectual culture to build a robust educational future not only for the states but for the entire country,” he added.

Nigeria’s former representative to UNESCO, Emeritus Prof. Michael Omolewa, who chaired the event described the summit as an interventional and timely initiative, urging all stakeholders to rethink their role in the provision of basic education owing to its importance in human and national development.

National President of the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT), Comrade Micheal Alogba-Olukoya, who was represented by the Union’s Deputy Chairman in Lagos, Adedoyin Adesina, said education, as the bedrock for national development must be rightly and carefully delivered at basic level, which is the foundation.

He also said the funding of basic primary education should not be handed over to local government as being proposed, urging stakeholders to intervene on the matter.
While commending the association for initiating the programme, former Edo State Commissioner for Education, Prof. Ngozi Osarenren, said until stakeholders decide to give children the best education standard, the country would continue to struggle in meeting up with global practices.



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