- UBEC disburses N303, 933b to states
By Gabriel Dike and Madu
The Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) on Thursday threatened to shut down primary and secondary schools nationwide if the National Assembly grants autonomy to Local Government Councils.
The National President of NUT, Mr. Michael Olukoya, dropped the hint in Lagos at the 2017 Annual National Education summit with theme: ‘’Whither Basic Education in Nigeria’’, organized by the Education Writers’ Association of Nigeria (EWAN).
Olukoya warned that the union would mobilize its members and other trade unions to protest against the enactment of the bill on local government autonomy because teachers would suffer untold hardship under the arrangement.
Said he: ‘’If this autonomy scales through, we as professional teachers and trade union, and of course as taxpayers whose tomorrow hang on the balance, we will make sure that all schools in Nigeria both primary and secondary would be shut down till that law is reversed.’’
The NUT boss who was represented by Mr. Adesina Adedoyin, deputy chairman of NUT Lagos state, also said the funding of basic primary education should be taken over from local government by stakeholders to accelerate national development.
The keynote speaker and Executive Secretary, Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) Dr. Hammid Bobboyi, disclosed that got N303, 933billion as statutorily fund as at 31st October 2017.
Bobboyi however, stated that a total of N303, 933, 462 representing 80 per cent of the funds had been disbursed to 36 states and Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, leaving a balance 20 per cent un accessed.
He said the Commission had always ensured that the money disbursed was well utilized through rigorous monitoring.
Speaking on challenges faced by the Commission, Bobboyi lamented that some states were exhibiting non-challant attitude towards basic education, adding they needed to buckle up.
The former Edo State Commissioner for Education, Professor Ngozi Osarenren, commended the association’s members for coming up with the programme saying the theme was apt at this point in time.
She said until stakeholders decided to give children the best education standard, the country would not be able to meet up with global practices.
According to her, admission seekers jumped into studying education because they could not meet up with cut-off marks of the initial course they want to study.
However, the Prof said that mass failure in Mathematics is a result of teachers skipping some topics in the subject because they don’t know it.
“You cannot give what you don’t have. Teachers that are not versatile enough cannot teach our children”, she added.
The former Nigeria’s representative to UNESCO, Prof Michael Omolewa, who chaired the event said if stakeholders focus on education of children, it means the future would be bright.
He commended EWAN for brining together stakeholders on basic education to brain storm on the challenges confronting it and hoped the recommendations from the summit would receive government attention.