Fred Ezeh, Abuja
The Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) has explained why it embarked on National Personnel Audit (NPA) of private and public basic education facilities in Nigeria, eight years after the previous exercise was done.
The Commission said it was worried that no accurate data and information was available for policy makers and international development partners to use in planning and implementation of education development programmes in Nigeria.
It was particularly concerned that the media has consistently assume that over 10.5 school age children are out of school, insisting that the figure was incorrect.
Its executive secretary, Dr. Hammid Bobboyi, who superintended over the flag-off ceremony of the nationwide exercise in Abuja, confirmed that absence of accurate data for use by policy makers and international organizations has left them with the option of “guess work” and “estimation”.
He explained that the audit exercise will be undertaken in two phases. “First phase will cover states in the three geopolitical zones in the south, while the second phase will cover states in three geopolitical zones in the north.”
Bobboyi said that ICT would play a prominent role in the 2018 exercise, insisting that its application would obviously minimize human error resulting in perfect or near perfect result.
He added: “the portal was designed to accommodate details of every public and private basic education facility in Nigeria, including the details of the teachers, using a unique identification code that would guarantee easy enumeration, collation and processing of the data.
“The exercise is also expected to provide baseline data required for proper educational planning in the system and create a reliable database on pupils’ enrolment, determine the number and quality of teaching and non-teaching staff in the system.”
Minister of education, Malam Adamu Adamu, in his remarks described the exercise as the answer to inaccurate information and data being used in the media, particularly the one that states that “10.5 million children of school age were out of school.”
He thus challenged UBEC to reciprocate the trust and support it received from the Federal Government and development partners, by producing results that would receive less criticisms from the public.
Representatives of UNICEF, UNESCO and other development partners were happy with the Federal Government for embarking on such personnel audit exercise, with hope that it would help them in planning and implementation of education programmes.