Ibrahim Shuaibu in Kano
The Minister of Education, Alhaji Adamu Adamu, has described the newly introduced School Based Management Committee – School Improvement Programme (SBMC-SIP) as one of the effective and collaborative efforts of the federal government in enhancing educational development at all levels and a strategy for forging linkages and partnerships with stakeholders in the delivery of education in the country.
The minister, who spoke through the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mr Sony Echono, during the official flagging off of the SBMC- SIP held at the Coronation Hall Government House, Kanonon Monday, called on stakeholders to massively invest in the educational development of the nation.
According to him, the aim and objectives of the programme are centrally aimed at reducing the rate of idle minds in the society so as not to allow them to be easily recruited by the insurgence as a result of their ignorance and high level of illiteracy.
On his part, the Director of Social Mobilization (UBEC), Alhaji Bello Kagara, announced that a total sum of N2.8 billion has been approved for the take-off of the project in which 2,500 communities will be supported.
He stated that there is going to be an output of 5,010 classrooms that would benefit with an average of two classrooms per project.
Kagara further explained that the estimation is on construction only, but communities that opt for supply of furniture, renovation, completion of abandoned buildings and purchase of teaching materials are also eligible.
Explaining the qualification criteria for benefitting from the project, he stated that such schools must be public primary schools, constituting (SBMC) or having functional SBMCs, and have the ability to provide at least 10 per cent counterpart contribution with valid justification for the support fund.
He said that the program is one of the collaboration strategies for creating linkages and partnerships with stakeholders in the delivery of education in Nigeria.
“The UBE programme, as you are aware, is Nigeria’s homegrown initiative aimed at addressing national aspirations and meeting global expectations through the provision of qualitative functional education free of charge, to all children of school-going age,” he said.
The Executive Secretary, UBEC, Dr Hamid Bobboyi, also said: “It is a widely held view that no nation can sustain a robust, functional and qualitative basic education without the meaningful and strategic involvement of its citizenry.
“The need for an institution like the SBMC-SIP was informed by the fact that the overall success of the basic education sub-sector in Nigeria depends largely on the level of community awareness, participation and support to the programme.
“The vision of the commission in the SBMC-SIP was therefore to put up a strategy for school development whereby community initiated self-help projects would be implemented by the SBMCs. Since globally the SMBCs have been recognized as school development agents, the approach will also have the advantage of increasing and functionality of the SBMCs to be vehicles for facilitating grassroots advocacy, sensitization and mobilization in favour of school development and the enrollment and retention of all categories of children in schools.”
The Kano State Governor Dr. Abdullahi Ganduje, in his goodwill message, assured the audience that his administration would continue to support such projects at his level, while he called on communities in the state to embrace and benefit from such projects for the development of the state.
Ganduje, who hailed the efforts of UBEC, described the SBMC- initiative as laudable and promised to work in partnership with UBEC to achieve the desired objectives.
“Kano has already raised the flag by declaring primary up to secondary school education free of charge charge,” he said.
Cheques amounting to millions of naira were handed over to the beneficiaries from various communities at the ceremony.