Vanguard (Lagos)

Nigeria: Minister Blames Falling Education Standards On Ineffective Supervision

Asaba — MINISTER of State for Education, Chief Ezenwo Wike, yesterday, urged officials charged with the implementation of Universal Basic Education, UBE, programme nationwide to sit up and ensure effective supervision of teachers in rendering quality and effective learning instead of allowing the teachers to draw salaries without justifying their pay.

He expressed disappointment that while the Federal Government was always ready with its matching grants, most of the state governments "are always in default in accessing the available funds from the Federal Government by refusing to provide their counterpart funds."

The minister spoke at the opening ceremony of the 7th quarterly meeting of Universal Basic Education Commission, UBEC, management with executive Chairmen of State Universal Basic Education Boards, SUBEBs.

He said: "As implementers of the UBE programme in your states, do you also provide effective supervision in respect of the contracts that you award for the provision of infrastructure in schools with the money provided by the federal and state governments or do you simply award the contracts and do nothing about delivery?

"I know that the latter is the predominant position. That is why we are still being confronted with situations where children are still learning under trees or completely dilapidated school buildings, and we seem not to care. How can you defend a situation where vital textbooks and library resource materials that were delivered to you for distribution to schools in your states are found in markets and bookshops?

"How can you explain the near complete lack of transparency and accountability in the administration of public funds, so much so that even your governors are kept in the dark about the streams of funds you receive from the Federal Government for the implementation of UBE programme?"

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