The Nigerian Government says it has commenced plans to conduct a world-class assessment of educational outcomes in its basic education subsector
Executive Secretary of Universal Basic Education Commission, UBEC, Dr Hamid Bobboyi, dropped the hint at a Two-Day International Workshop on Large Scale Assessment for Basic Education organised by UBEC in collaboration with the United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF, on Wednesday in Abuja.
Bobboyi further disclosed that the 2021/2022 National Assessment on Learning Achievements in Basic Education, NALABE, will also evaluate the impact of the multi-billion naira annual interventions in the subsector.
According to him, each state receives an average of N1.5 billion for funding of basic education from UBEC every year, which adds up to N3 billion with payment of matching grant.
The UBEC boss however lamented that the amount has not adequately rubbed off on learning achievements in schools.
He expressed concerns over a seeming learning crisis in the country, stating that billions of nairas being channeled into the basic education sector by the commission have not adequately correlated with learning outcomes.
“You know UBEC is an intervention agency; it provides resources. In a good year, apart from 2020 that was affected by COVID, we dispense billions every year.
” A state gets a minimum of about N1.5 billion and at least N3 billion (as a whole) on a yearly basis.
” But at the end of the day you start wondering – the money and resources going to these states and agencies that are implementing basic education. How much of it goes down to the level of the classroom and making a difference in teaching and learning?
“Because it worries one. We measure our success by how much of money we are able to give out. We have dispensed this, we have done that, and so on.
“We have dispensed textbooks to states and SUBEBs will wait for UBEC to pay for transportation of these books to various schools and most of the time the textbooks are locked up in the headmasters’ offices awaiting instructions from their ministries on what to do with them,” he said
Bobboyi, who made reference to a report which posited that actual learning at the the pre-primary and primary school levels is four years, said stakeholders in the education sector need to do more to boost learning in schools in the country.
He however, commended UNICEF and other international development partners for their support for the Commission on strengthening preparation towards the successful conduct of 2022 NALABE.
On his part, the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, described the planned large-scale learning assessment as a right step in the right direction.
Represented by an official of the Federal Ministry of Education, Mrs H. Lawal, the minister said the national assessment was originally designed to be conducted every four years, adding that UBEC had before now carried out similar exercises in 2001, 2003, 2006, 2011 and 2017.
Adamu also commended development partners for their collaboration with UBEC to ensure a successful exercise.
Also speaking, UNICEF’s Country Representative, Peter Hawkins, tasked Nigeria on improving learning outcomes among pupils.
Hawkins said national learning assessment is critical to the future of every Nigerian child, while pledging the unwavering support of UNICEF to ensure success of the exercise