Billy Graham Abel, Yola
Stakeholders at a one-day consultative forum on the implementation of the Universal Basic Education Act (UBE) in Adamawa State have commended the efforts of the Adamawa State Governor, Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri, for declaring a free basic education in the State, saying the declaration would go a long way in addressing one of the common challenges to accessing basic education for several vulnerable people in the State, including the Girl-Child.
The stakeholders, drawn from the ministry of justice, State Universal Basic Education Board, Civil Society organisations, Ministry of Finance and Local Government workers, while commending the Governor, also challenged him to take a step further by providing free school uniforms for students in order to fully implement the UBE’s ACT mandate for free basic education at no cost to citizens.
This is contained in a communique issued at the close of the meeting and made available to Daily Sun, over the weekend, in Yola, Adamawa State.
The forum, which was put together by the Legal Defense and Assistance Project (LEDAP) recommends that, ahead of school resumption, the Adamawa State Government moving forward, should pay specific attention to matters pertaining to Girl-Child education by creating a safe and friendly school environment for the Girl-Child in the State in order to boost Girl-Child school enrollment and combat the perennial challenge of out of school children in the State.
The communique which was issued by Sunday Udoh on behalf of LEDAP said, “The Adamawa State Government deserves commendation for the recent declaration of free basic education in Adamawa State and that the State Government in implementing free basic education policy should take steps to remedy the issue of providing uniforms for students at no cost to the parents.”
The communique further called for the implementation of the Child Rights Act in the State and the recruitment of more female teachers to make the school environment friendlier for female students. It said: There is a need for the Government to ensure the speedy passage of the Child Rights Law and the establishment of more girl child schools in Adamawa State.
‘There is also a need to increase the number of qualified female teachers in schools so that they can serve as role models for girls in schools and also make girls more comfortable in attending schools.”
Ahead of school resumption in the State, the forum resolved that: ‘Teachers should be given adequate incentives to motivate them to be more committed to effective teaching.
‘Government should ensure that the cost of complying with COVID-19 protocol is taken away from parents by providing hand sanitizers, face masks and other facilities that will help curb the spread of the virus in schools.
‘Adequate facilities must be provided in schools to ensure that infected students and teachers are well taken care of in order to minimise the complication of the spread of infection.’
Identifying funding as one of the critical challenges to accessing basic education in the State the forum put forward that, “State Government should ensure to the payment of counterpart funds to enable the State to take advantage of funds provided under the UBE Act.”
Earlier on in late September, Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri had declared that schools in the State would be resuming on October 12.