Senator Iroegbu in Abuja
The Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) has concluded plans to sample students, pupils, teachers and parents to ascertain the standard of learning across the country.
This National Assessment of Learning Achievements in Basic Education (NALABE) is coming barely a month after the Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai conducted a controversial test that led to the sack of over 22,000 teachers.
The Executive Secretary of UBEC, Mr. Hamid Bobboyi, who disclosed this at a briefing in Abuja, said the assessment will be conducted throughout this week.
Bobboyi said unlike that of El-Rufai, the assessment of learning achievements in Nigeria is an established exercise and has been conducted by the commission previously in 2001, 2003, 2006 and 2011.
“The results of these assessments have been used to gauge the state of basic education and to proffer solutions to some of the constraints and challenges being faced in this critical sub-sector.
“November 2017 has been scheduled for the 5th edition of the assessment. Assessment of learners’ achievement is very crucial to the implementation of Basic Education Programme. It exposes learners’ performance in curricular delivery and impact of intervening variables”.
According to him, the main objective of the NALABE is to use quantitative and qualitative methods to assess and determine the efficiency and quality of primary and junior secondary school pupils and students in Nigeria. He said it will enable the tracking of education at the basic level across the states and six geopolitical zones of the country.
The executive secretary further expanded the objectives of the ongoing assessment to include: collection of data on achievement of learners (primary five and six) and students (JS2 and 3) in four core subjects (English Studies, Mathematics, Basic Science and Technology, and Social Studies).
Others are: synthesize basic information on primary and junior secondary schools in Nigeria and use these to explain pupils’/ students’ achievements, access to schools, internal efficiency of the basic education system and school/community relations; evaluate internal efficiency of primary and junior secondary schools; collect information on contextual variables that may be used as explanatory variables for the levels of competency acquired in the various skill areas; and determine the normative indices in the core subjects for these levels.
To this end, Bobboyi said about 60,480 students and 4,310 teachers and 38,888 parents would be assessed. He said the target population consists of all public, private primary and junior secondary schools in the 36 states and the FCT encompassing 1,080 primary schools and 332 junior secondary schools.
For the primary schools, he said the Local Government Education Authorities (LGEAs) in each of the 36 states and the FCT were stratified on the basis of location (urban and rural).
According to him, simple random sampling technique was used to select six LGEAs in the urban and rural locations in 35 states and three each from Bayelsa and FCT. Adding that in each LGEA, five primary schools (two urban, two rural and 1 private) are selected.
“At this level, the sample is to consist 216 LGEAs, 1,080 primary schools, 1,080 head teachers, 2,160 teachers (2 teachers per school, for the 2 selected classes) and 43, 200 pupils (20 pupil from each of the two classes of primary 5 and 6 assumed for an intact class) and 12 parents in each class. These add up to 43, 200 pupils and 25, 920 parents.”
Bobboyi added that in each of the 35 states, six LGEAs randomly selected would be used, while three LGEAs in Bayelsa and FCT for the junior secondary school level sampling. “In each selected class, 20 students will be randomly selected to participate in the study (20 students from each of the two classes of JS2 and 3 assumed for an intact class) and 15 parents in each class. These add up to 17,280 students and 12,960 parents.
“The principals of the selected schools and one teacher each of the English Studies, Mathematics, Basic Science and Technology, and Social Studies are also to be randomly selected to participate in the study. In all, 432 principals and 1,728 (English Studies, Mathematics, Basic Science & Technology and Social Studies) teachers across JS 2 and 3 classes will be selected to participate in the study.”
The executive secretary said the exercise will be conducted in five working days from November 20-25, 2017 with a total of 1,512 field officers involved in the test administration.