Stakeholders Raise Alarm Over State Of Basic Education In Nigeria

According to the United Nations Children Fund, UNICEF, Nigeria has 18.5 million out-of-school children, OSC, the highest number in the world and out of the figure, 10 million are girls.

The Chief of UNICEF Field Office in Kano, Rahama Farah, stated this at a media dialogue on Girls’ Education under the Girls’ Education Project 3, GEP 3 funded by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, FCDO and implemented by UNICEF. For those lucky to be in school, their condition is also not enviable given the situation of public schools in the country. Only recently, the Universal Basic Education Commission, UBEC, said 50 per cent of schools in Nigeria lack basic furniture.

The Executive Secretary of the commission, Hamid Bobboyi, said this in Abuja at a one-day Civil Society Organisations, CSO-Legislative Roundtable Meeting where some National and State Houses of Assembly members were present. According to him, emerging constraints in basic education delivery in the country may necessitate an increase in the consolidated revenue funds from the current two per cent to four per cent. He buttressed his position for an increase in funding on the security challenges bedeviling the country, insisting that rising student population also poses urgent need for teaching facilities.

Also speaking, the Chairman of, Senate Committee on Basic Education, represented by Senator Frank Ibezim, decried the failure of State Universal Basic Education Boards, SUBEBs, to sustain some UBEC-initiated projects such as classrooms and libraries earlier introduced by the commission in all constituencies in the country. While commending UBEC over the construction of classrooms in schools across the country, he lamented the poor maintenance culture, noting that there is no school in the country that does not have a dilapidated block.

A representative of MacArthur Foundation, Mr Dayo Olaoye, called on stakeholders to review the impact of the country’s annual budget on education, stressing that it was not enough that the country is increasing its budget to the sector. “As we think about reforms, let us think beyond buildings that have been delivered, let us start thinking about how many children have been brought to school,” he said.


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