MINISTER of Education, Adamu Adamu has expressed disgust with the failure of 26 states of the federation to leverage the humongous grants by the Universal Basic Education Commission [UBEC]. UBEC is Nigeria’s federal government agency that has the mandate to formulate and coordinate policies geared towards delivering quality basic education as foundation for accessing higher education.
THE major objective of the UBEC programme is to provide free, universal and compulsory basic education for every Nigerian child. The primary duty of UBEC is “to enquire into and advise the federal government on the funding and orderly development of basic education in Nigeria.
Its executive body helps the government in decision making through the art of giving timely information to the government. UBEC grants were created to offer financial succor to state governments so as to provide infrastructural facilities to the primary and secondary schools .
Most fundamental goal of the funding is to help states raise the standard of education compared to what is obtainable in developed countries.
A condition attached to the grant is compulsory payment of considerable matching grant otherwise referred to as Cash Counter Contribution (CCC) to UBEC ostensibly to demonstrate the seriousness of the state governments in raising the quality of children education in their domain..
IT IS deplorable that many state governors appear reluctant to fulfill the financial obligation by not being prompt in payment of their counterpart contribution.
This lethargy or non-challant attitude depicts in bold relief their scant attention to what matters-most in building great societies which is according to priority to the foundational level of education as a critical need for optimal socioeconomic growth and development.
It is manifestly deplorable that there is such a situation. Hence, the utter condemnation by the Education Minister is apt.
GOING down memory lane, UBEC was established by ‘Compulsory, Free Universal Basic Education and Other Related Matters Act’ of 2004 which emphasise that states have a mandate to formulate policy guidelines for the successful operation of the Universal Basic Education Program (and) prescribe the minimum standards for basic education”.
STATE governments who access the very significant and resourceful grants are principally advised to provide, among other basic learning facilities, library and information services that will meet the needs of pupils and teachers as well as support school curricular.
STATE governments who recognised that education is a pillar of socioeconomic growth and development, leveraged the humongous UBEC grant by prompt payment of the matching grant. Consequently, the result was massive as they registered quantum leap in the educational development.
NATIONAL Light urges the 26 states who are missing the easily explorable UBEC fund to properly provide the basic needs of this critical level of education to their children.
It is commonly observed that in many schools across country, the roofs of the classrooms, dormitories, laboratory buildings and skill acquisition centres are in various levels of dilapidation.
Most have never had or had perimeter fences that have collapsed giving easy access to thieves to vandalise school property or bandits to abduct pupils..
These defaulting states should recognise the pride of place of the education sector and reorder their priorities to meet the basic needs of their populace, especially, through the foundational levels of education.
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