Nigeria’s Education sector and the UBEC Amended Bill

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The Problem Statement

Despite Nigeria’s commitment to free, compulsory and universal basic education (UBE) under the Universal Basic Education Act of 2004, basic education continues to worsen from low and unjust access.

There are about 13.2 million children that are currently locked out of school, according to the latest data from the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC). Yet, N101 million, as of December 2018, that could in some ways contribute to the reduction of this number remain un-accessed. This is worrisome as the dwindling of the educational system makes it impossible for effective workability.

The confusion of the 6-3-3-4, 1-6-3-3-4, 9-3-4 makes it complicated and woozy because of the change of name when they actually mean the same thing. The educational system is faced with a lack of human and material resources, unclear policies as well as poor implementation.

The Policy Solution

The Universal Basic Education (UBE) programme was launched and executed by the government to eradicate illiteracy, ignorance and poverty as well as stipulates a 9-year formal schooling, adult literacy and non-formal education, skill acquisition programs, and the education of special groups such as nomads and migrants, girl child and women, Al-majiri, street children and disabled people.

This will in the long run accelerate national development, political consciousness and promote national integration.

The Nigerian education system is described as the 6-3-3-4 system of education, a child spends six years in primary school, three years in junior secondary school, three years in senior secondary school, and four years in a tertiary institution.

The six years spent in primary school and the three years spent in junior secondary school are merged to form the nine in the 9-3-4 system. Altogether, the students must spend a minimum period of six years in Secondary School. During this period, students are expected to spend three years in Junior Secondary School and three years in Senior Secondary School—which together comprise basic education; then the next four years of tertiary education.

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NIGAC Constructive Position/Take

The Universal Basic Education (UBE) Programme was introduced in 1999 by the Federal Government of Nigeria as a reform programme aimed at providing greater access to, and ensuring the quality of basic education throughout Nigeria.

Basic education is not completely new but its meaning has been broadened after the World Declaration on Education for All (EFA), and the Framework for Action to meet Basic learning needs.

Three demographic studies on the existing national situation in the primary education sector revealed that 12% of primary school pupils sit on the floor, 38% classrooms have no ceilings, 87% classrooms overcrowded, while 77% pupils lack textbooks.

Almost all sampled teachers are poorly motivated coupled with lack of community interest and participation in the management of the schools.

Unfortunately, education in Nigeria is bisected with a myriad of problems. These include; poor funding and thus poor educational infrastructures, inadequate classrooms, teaching aids (projectors, Computers, Laboratories and libraries), paucity of quality teachers and poor/polluted learning environment.

In addition to these inadequacies, our school system is plagued with numerous social vices such as examination malpractices, cultism, hooliganism and corruption.

For meaningful development to take place in the educational sector; the government need to re-address the issue of funding.

 

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