The Universal Basic Education Commission has disclosed plans to conduct a world-class assessment survey to ascertain learning outcomes in the nation’s basic education sector.
Executive Secretary of UBEC, Dr Hamid Bobboyi, said the 2021/2022 National Assessment on Learning Achievements in Basic Education (NALABE ) would also evaluate the impact of the multi-billion naira annual interventions at the basic education level.
Bobboyi spoke at a two-day International Workshop on Large Scale Assessment for Basic Education organised by UBEC in collaboration with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) on Wednesday in Abuja.
He disclosed that each state receives an average of N1.5 billion for funding of basic education from UBEC every year, explaining that when this is added to matching usually paid before accessing the fund, each state gets an average of N3 billion every year.
Bobboyi lamented, however, that this money has been effectively utilised to boost learning achievements in schools.
His words: “You know UBEC is an intervention agency; it provides resources. In a good year, apart from 2020 that was affected by COVID, we dispense billions every year.
“A state gets a minimum of about N1.5 billion and at least N3 billion (as a whole) on a yearly basis.
“But at the end of the day, you start wondering – the money and resources going to these states and agencies that are implementing basic education. How much of it goes down to the level of the classroom and making a difference in teaching and learning?
“Because it worries one. We measure our success by how much money we are able to give out. We have dispensed this, we have done that, and so on.
“We have dispensed textbooks to states and SUBEBs will wait for UBEC to pay for transportation of these books to various schools and most of the time the textbooks are locked up in the headmasters’ offices awaiting instructions from their ministries on what to do with them.”
Speaking further, Bobboyi who made reference to a report which posited that actual learning at the pre-primary and primary school levels in four years, said stakeholders in the education sector need to do more to boost learning in schools in the country.
The UBEC boss, however, commended UNICEF and other international development partners for their support for the Commission on strengthening preparation towards the successful conduct of 2022 NALABE.
On his part, the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, described the planned large-scale learning assessment as a right step in the right direction.
Represented by an official of the Federal Ministry of Education, Mrs. H. Lawal, the minister said the national assessment was originally designed to be conducted every four years, adding that UBEC had before now carried out similar exercises in 2001, 2003, 2006, 2011, and 2017.
Adamu Adamu also commended development partners for their collaboration with UBEC to ensure a successful exercise.
Also speaking, UNICEF’s Country Representative, Peter Hawkins, tasked Nigeria with improving learning outcomes among pupils.
While saying that national learning assessment is critical to the future of every Nigerian child, Hawkins pledged the unwavering support of UNICEF to UBEC on the exercise.