A total sum of N68.6 billion is to be spent by the federal government in the purchase of text books for the Universal Basic Education( UBE) programme, the Minister of Education, Prof Ruqayyatu Ahmed Rufai said yesterday.
The minister who revealed this during the national flag-off ceremony for the distribution of primary one and two text books and library resource materials for Junior Secondary Schools nationwide, said this had become imperative as basic education was a guaranteed entitlement for every Nigerian child.
She said basic education can be costly and discouraging especially for socio-economically disadvantaged parents hence" the policy thrust of the federal government to procure text books in the core subject areas of the basic education curriculum and library resource materials to primary and secondary schools nationwide".
The Minister of State for Education, Barr. Ezenwo Wike, in his speech, noted that scarcity of appropriate text books and instructional materials remain one of the most serious impediments to the quality of education as the books would complement the efforts of state governments in addressing the challenges of basic education.
He revealed that "between 2009 and 2010 over 34,619,580 copies of text books in different subject areas and 6, 474,120 library resource materials were provided. Also procured for distribution to junior secondary schools are assorted library resource materials totaling 4,920,593".
The amount which has been enshrined in the budget of the sector and expected to run for the next four years is part of the sector's plans for basic education and has been contracted to Macmillan publishers.