The Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) has expressed deep concerns over poor learning outcomes in public primary and junior secondary schools despite huge intervention by the Federal Government.
Executive Secretary of UBEC, Dr. Hamid Bobboyi, blamed the ugly development on a number of factors including, the recruitment of unqualified teachers by some state governments, lack of regular professional training programmes for teachers, and low remuneration among others.
Bobboyi said this while declaring open a one-day workshop for Council for Regulation of Engineers in Nigeria (COREN) inspectors for monitoring of UBEC/State Universal Basic Education Boards (SUBEBs) Matching Grant intervention projects in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.
The UBEC boss, who reacted to a report by the World Bank that about 70 percent of children in schools cannot read and write or perform basic numeracy tasks by age 10, said even though the figures being bandied were not scientific, the Commission was working with UNICEF to have a large scale assessment of learning achievements in the country. He said there was a need to invest more in teachers that would teach children at the basic level of education, especially in public schools across the country.
“There is no justification for all the investment if the child in the classroom is not learning,” he said.
In collaboration with COREN, Bobboyi, said one of the key elements that could encourage learning is a good environment, hence the need for the partnership with the Council to ensure that infrastructure built in public schools across the country are of standard quality.
On 3rd March 2022, UBEC and COREN signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the Council to monitor UBEC matching grant intervention projects across the 36 states of the Federation and Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The Executive Secretary disclosed that 50 percent of allocation to the Commission from the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF), as support by the Federal Government for basic education, is disbursed to state governments for the development of infrastructure.
He said it was therefore important for UBEC to monitor what is going on in order to ensure that there is value for money and infrastructures built are safe and could last for a long time as well as motivate the pupils to learn better.
He added that the role of COREN was to make sure that all buildings in public basic schools have their certification and are well built enough to add value to Nigerian classrooms.
According to him, the engagement of COREN for monitoring and evaluation of UBEC projects would add value to the efforts being put in place to ensure quality basic education delivery in the country.
Registrar of COREN, Prof Adisa Bello, said the Council is to monitor construction work, renovation, furniture, equipment, works, and water supply projects and report appropriately to UBEC management, saying this falls within the Engineering Regulation Monitoring (ERM) mandate of the Council.