Nigeria Battling Shortage Of Teachers – UBEC

The Universal Basic Education Commission has lamented that there is shortage of teachers in government schools across the country.

The Executive Secretary, UBEC, Dr Hamid Bobboyi, made the remark at a recent interactive session with the beneficiaries of the 2020/2021 Federal Teachers’ Scheme project in Lagos State, held at the  Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board.

The FTS intervention programme was established by the Federal Government in 2006 to assist states address the shortage of teachers at the basic education level.

Bobboyi, said there were some government-owned primary schools, especially in the northern part of the country, with only one teacher in the entire school.

“We have shortage of teachers and we need to get more qualified and competent ones. We don’t want the FST participant to go too,” he said.

He also warned that the scheme might eventually collapse as funding to sustain the programme was not forthcoming.

Bobboyi said, “This is a programme we are just pushing to ensure it does not collapse.  But, unfortunately, at the end of the day it still has to collapse because the Federal Government through the budget office said after the expiry of this programme in 2022, they said that any organisation that is receiving statutory transfer cannot access any funds from any other source in the budget.  The FTS is not funded directly by UBEC; its funding comes from the SDGs. Funding the next batch will be problematic except we can fund it from other sources.”

He lamented that the scheme which gulped about N1.9 billion for the 2021/2022 set (3,962 teachers), could not pay the teachers more than N30,000 minimum wage, which he said was equivalent to $50.

Also speaking, the  Executive Chairman of Lagos SUBEB, Mr Wahab Alawiye-king, said Lagos State was passionate about providing quality and quantitative education not only at basic but at all levels for the people of the state.

He said that was the reason the state government came up with different programmes, including EKO Excel, Zero Project, Living no child behind, at a basic level, among others as references.

The FTS participants shared their experiences, Francis Okoroafor, who teaches at Oladipo Primary School I Amukoko, Lagos, said: “We say a deep-rooted thank you from the bottom of our hearts to UBEC and SUBEB.  You selected us and trained us and gave us opportunity to give education to young ones. However, the N30,000 we get is small.”

Punch

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