21 August 2017

Nigeria: Despite Educational Challenges, 27 Nigerian States Refuse to Access N37 Billion Fund

The Universal Basic Education Commission, UBEC, has appealed to state governments yet to access their matching grants to do so in order to improve the quality of education in their states.

Hamid Bobboyi, the Executive Secretary of the Commission, made this appeal at a media chat in Abuja on Monday.

Mr. Bobboyi said that N37 billion has yet to be accessed between 2015 and 2016 due to lack of counterpart funding.

He said that only Borno, Jigawa, Kaduna, Katsina, Rivers, Sokoto and Bauchi States had accessed their grants in the stated period.

He explained that the Federal Government provided the matching grants while the state governments provide the counterpart funds to access the fund.

"The quarterly meeting with the States Universal Basic Education Boards (SUBEB) Chairmen has provided an avenue for deliberating on the best way of addressing this challenge.

"It must be noted that most of the SUBEB chairmen rely on their governments to pay the counterpart funds.

"Many SUBEB chairmen indicated that due to recession, many state governments have not been able to raise these counterpart funds," he said.

Speaking on improving the quality of education, the executive secretary said the commission would establish model schools in each local government area across the country.

Mr. Bobboyi said that model schools are required as the backbone for the education system.

"We feel strongly about this and we have started the process; we need the kind of model schools that will meet international standards.

"Our hope is that we keep on building these schools to reduce the difficulty of teacher quality," he said.

He added that for a school to be qualified as a model school, teams would evaluate these schools and ensure that the teacher quality and classroom ratio was right.

Mr. Bobboyi called for more learning assessment in basic education in the country to improve educational quality.

He explained that by September, the commission would have an assessment to know the standard of each basic education subject within the school system.

He said that this would assist in understanding the challenges and ways of overcoming them.

Mr. Bobboyi also stressed the need to address the backlog of teachers' salaries and allowances.

"If the teachers cannot teach in the classrooms then of what use is the infrastructures. So basic education stakeholders must address this issue to ensure we have quality teacher," he said.

(NAN)

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