by Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna
An nongovernmental organization (NGO), ‘Legal Defence and Projects’ (LEDAP), has said that the over 20 years of poor implementation and mismanagement of the free Universal Basic Education (UBE) was largely responsible for lack of rights to free quality basic education and the decades in the falling standard of the country’s educational system.
LEDAP, which is a Malala Fund, charged with the responsibility of promoting the right to free quality universal basic education, made the revelations on Thursday during a one-day media parley on “Free UBE” in Kaduna.
In an elaborate presentation on overview of the UBE Act made by a resource person, Mr Ahmed Alaga, he noted that, “Under a well established free UBE, junior secondary school students should be able acquire a skill for themselves at that level. The pre-primary and primary level of education is where children are supposed to be molded and stabilized.”
Mr Alaga, who used former pre-colonial leaders as a front, reflected that the first Prime Minister, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, and other pre-colonial leaders were good examples of those, who enjoyed good quality of basic education.
According to him, at the level of their basic primary educations, they were not only expressive alone but had good command of English Language to even lead their people.
The education expert also suggested that, to now improve UBE implementation, the country’s leaders and managers must ensure the educational plans should be done by experts and professionals before pronouncements and implementation.
“Managers should clearly interpret the policies to the understanding of an ordinary Nigerian, while there must be accountability in all facets of the system. Leaders, parents and guardians, communities and the society must be also involved in
sunning adequate dementation,” he said.
He listed some of the challenges of UBE to include management problems, especially planning and process disorder, sighting the issues of implementations before the actual plans.
According to him, political leaders made pronouncements of educational policies to gain political credit, rather than subjecting educational matters to professionals.
“Other challenges facing UBE are inadequate interpretation of the policy. The key factors of free and compulsory education are not well understood by the populace, as well as problems of monitoring, evaluation and maintenance problems.”
He also sighted inadequate resources, saying “There are still shortages and lack of both human and material resources – inadequate infrastructure facilities, equipment, instructional materials, etc.
“Unqualified teachers still teach in Nigeria. For example, UBEC (2011) stated that ‘the profile of unqualified teachers in public schools nationwide stood at 41.1% out of 667,550, of the qualified NCE holders, most of them appear to have a challenge of very poor quality in the classroom, unmotivated teachers, among others.’ ”
Earlier, a facilitator, Mr Michael Aboh, said that promotion of the right to free universal basic education were being conducted in four states of the north, including Kaduna, Kano, Adamawa and Bauchi, respectively.