The Executive Secretary, Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), Hamid Bobboyi has said that to improve basic education in the country, there was need to strategise, engage in discussions and get involved in projects, that could help understand the challenges and how best to address them.
Bobboyi stated this while fielding questions from newsmen during a one-day colloquium, organised by the Commission in honour of late Professor Gidado Tahir, the former executive secretary of UBEC, on Monday, May 22, 2023 in Abuja.
The colloquium has its theme, “The Nigerian Child: Dynamics of Educational Opportunities”.
Bobboyi said that the idea of the colloquium was to project the kind of dynamics and challenges within the basic education sub-sector in the area of funding, school attendance and teacher development within the context of the legacies of Tahir.
He said the late Tahir through his giant stride in the sector was able to bring a minimum of five million children back to school.
According to him,Tahir had been one of the key promoter of basic education in the country as he founded the National Commission for Normadic Education (NCEE) and UBEC .
Speaking on the number of out-of-school children in the country, he said that the National Population Commission (NPC) through the conduct of census could give the accurate figure of the out-of-School children.
”There is need for us to strategies and get involved in projects, we need to engage, discuss and strategies in the project that can help understand these challenges and how best to address them.
”We have just finished the report for 2022 National Personnel Audit (NPA)- the schools census and assessment of learning in the education sector that will give us idea on the extent the children are learning and areas of difficulties.
”The report is almost ready but we need the population figure of the different age group to ascertain the actual number of out-of-school children because the estimate they are making is no longer reliable.
”It is the population commission that can give us the accurate figure of the out-of-school children in the country based on the population of the various local government,” he said.
On her part, Director of Basic Education, Federal Ministry of Education, Dr. Folake Olatunji-David, said there was need to tap into the potential of the Nigerian child for local and global opportunities.
Olatunji-David said that the dynamics of these opportunities if harnessed would expose the multidimensional goals of the Nigerian child.
”There are dimensional challenges facing the basic education ranging from high level of poverty, high number of Out-of-School Children and others.
”The Nigerian government established the commission to tackle some of these challenges and over the years the commission has been working to address these problems.
”It is therefore the responsibilities of stakeholders to have a proper study and information in order to understand the challenges and opportunities that we still have,” she said.
Until his death on Jan 13, 2022, the deceased was the Chairman Board, National Commission for Normadic (NCNE) and the pioneer Executive Secretary, UBEC.