21 November 2012

West Africa: UK Aid 'Not Improving Nigerian Education'

Millions of pounds of UK government aid to Nigerian schools has failed to produce any major improvement in pupil learning, an independent watchdog says.

The Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI) said the aid scheme was being undermined by a shortage of effective teachers and a lack of local support.

So far £102m has been spent in 10 Nigerian states, with a further £126m committed to 2019.

Currently, DFID supports these states through two programmes: the UNICEF- led Girls Education Programme (GEP) funded from 2005 to 2019 and the Education Sector Support Programme in Nigeria (ESSPIN), delivered by a Cambridge Education-led consortium from 2008-14.

The states where these programmes operate are Bauchi, Sokoto, Katsina, Niger, Jigawa, Kano, Kaduna, Enugu, Kwara and Lagos.

ICAI said ESSPIN and GEP were working mostly in northern Nigeria, " one of the most difficult basic education environments in the world. They face a combination of deteriorating infrastructure, substandard teacher performance and almost no predictability or transparency in state funding."

To date, GEP estimates that it has spent an average of £3.3 million in each of its states, whereas ESSPIN has spent an average of £10.1 million ranging from £4.4 million in Enugu, where there was a late start, to £12.8 million in Kano.

Major areas of expenditure for GEP have been school grants (£4.9 million), capacity-building for SBMCs (£4.4 million), teacher development (£2.0 million) and the Female Trainee Teachers' Scholarship Scheme (FTTSS - £0.5 million).

Major areas of expenditure for ESSPIN have been: school improvement (£28.1 million), community engagement and accountability (£15.5 million), State governance of basic education (£10.6million) and federal governance of basic education (£6.2 million).

The UK government said the report had a limited focus but would be reviewed.

With Agency Report

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