2.6m Children Can’t Access Basic Education, Says UBEC

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· Receives N173.2bn in four years

Kuni Tyessi in Abuja

The Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) has stated that 2.6 million children nationwide are out of school due to distance from their homes and the location of schools, which is not in line with the two kilometer radius given by the federal government.

The agency has also received N173,121,513,66.69 in the last four years as monthly allocation, which was paid in full and in time.

The figures were contained in a national document released by UBEC yesterday in Abuja at the national presentation and launch of the 2018 National Personnel Audit (NPA) report of basic education institutions in Nigeria.

The Executive Secretary of UBEC, Dr. Hamid Bobboyi, said through the 2018 NPA, the commission had been able to acquire the Global Position System (GPS), which coordinates all schools in the country covered by the census.

He added that the exercise involved not only public schools but also private and faith-based institutions and despite initial suspicions, most of the institutions came to embrace the exercise and to cooperate with UBEC and its partners to make the census a success.

“Through the 2018 NPA, we have been able to acquire the Global Position System (GPS) coordinates all schools in the country covered by the census. The geographical data generated has proven exceptionally useful in building a Geographic Information Systems (GIS).

“The exercise involved not only public schools but also private and faith-based institutions. Despite initial suspicions, most of these institutions came to embrace the exercise and to cooperate with UBEC and its partners to make the exercise a success.

“There are still data gaps, which must be taken care of as we move forward in sustaining our educational data bases. Data collection, collation and analysis in a continuous exercise and we must continue to update the current data sets we have at our disposal,” he added.

The Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, who gave the figures disbursed to UBEC, also added that N34, 431, 470, 411was released for teachers’ professional development to all states with over N71 billion being deducted at source from the Paris Club fund for counterpart funding before disbursement to states.

Adamu said the shame that accompanied him at international events had now become bygone with the release of the report, which he said though not perfect, was concise, accurate and useful for planning.

He said: “UBEC has received all its allocations in full and on time. It has received 100 per cent of it. It received as matching grant since 2015, the sum of N173,121,513,66.98.

“There used to be no data for Nigeria and this has always come with a huge embarrassment for me, especially in the international community, but with this, the end of shame has come. With this report, all children will be given the opportunity to enroll and complete their basic education as enshrined in the UBEC Act.

“Nigeria can now have a data of whatever it chooses. The document is not perfect but has revealed gaps that needed to be filled. States with deficit in teacher quality need to improve and close the gaps” he added.