Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), said at the weekend that its desire was to make teaching more profitable than other professions, as it is the case in some developed countries like Singapore, Finland, among others.
UBEC was hopeful that the ongoing reforms in the system would attract and encourage best candidates to build career in the teaching profession and get adequate compensation for that.
UBEC Executive Secretary, Dr. Hamid Bobboyi, told journalists in Abuja, at the weekend, that over N10 billion was designated for capacity development for teachers in basic education system as part of statutory responsibilities of UBEC.
This, he said, was 10 per cent of the entire amount received from the Consolidated Revenue Fund, which will be disbursed through States’ Universal Basic Education Board.
Similarly, he said that over N15 billion, which was 15 per cent of Consolidated Revenue Fund, was also designated for the procurement of instructional materials for basic schools.
UBEC spokesman, David Apeh, in a statement noted that UBEC Executive Secretary, Dr. Bobboyi, admitted the financial provisions might not be enough, hence the charge on states to judiciously utilize the money and source for other funding opportunities.
He admitted that last year, 2020, was a challenging year due to COVID-19 pandemic that led to global lockdown including closure of schools, but in spite of that, the Commission worked hard to support schools in areas of e-learning systems and other response to the pandemic.
He recalled that 2018 National Personnel Audit (NPA) report on public and private basic education schools in Nigeria revealed a short fall of 277, 537 teachers in schools, 73 per cent in public schools and 53 per cent in private schools.
He said: “Our hope is that with the current reforms that are being put in place, we would be able to attract best candidates into the profession and compensate them adequately. Teaching is more regarded than other professions in countries like Singapore, Finland, among others, and we want to replicate that here”
He disclosed that UBEC was also working on modalities to return abandoned children and those with special needs to school system through the two per cent UBEC funding platform that goes to special needs education.
“In 2020, the money was about N2.1 billion and was disbursed to states. Though, the money was small when compared to the number of children with special needs. But the problem is that most often, the usage of the money by states are not strategic to make the desired difference.”