UBEC raises concern over poor learning outcomes despite huge interventions


By Ngozi Nwankwo

Executive Secretary of Universal Basic Education Commission, UBEC, Dr. Hamid Bobboyi has said that the Commission is worried by the poor learning outcomes in basic education despite huge intervention by the Federal Government.

Bobboyi, however, blamed this on a number of factors including, recruitment of unqualified teachers by some state governments, lack of regular professional training programmes for teachers, low remuneration among others.

The UBEC boss spoke yesterday in Abuja while declaring open a one-day workshop for Council for Regulation of Engineers in Nigeria (COREN) inspectors for monitoring of UBEC/SUBEBS Matching Grant intervention projects in 36 states and FCT.

He was reacting to a report by United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), that Nigeria is faced with a staggering learning crisis with about 70 per cent of children in schools unable to read and write or perform basic numeracy tasks by age 10.

The UBEC boss 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, going into the details of what the problems are and to improve on learning outcomes in Nigeria.

He said there was a need to invest more on teachers that would teach children at the basic level of education, especially 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 partnership with the Council to ensure that infrastructure built in public schools across the country are of standard quality.

Recall that 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 per cent of allocation to the Commission from the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF), as support by the Federal Government to basic education, is disbursed to state governments for 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 the COREN was to make sure that all buildings in public basic schools have its certification and were 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, Professor Adisa Bello, in his remark, 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.