IMPROVING GOVERNANCE AND ACCOUNTABILITY IN BASIC EDUCATION IN NIGERIA

Three-Day Training Workshop which focused on Improving Governance and Accountability in Primary and junior secondary Education in Nigeria at Grand Ibro Hotel Annex, Abuja More »

IMPROVING GOVERNANCE AND ACCOUNTABILITY IN BASIC EDUCATION IN NIGERIA

Three-Day Training Workshop which focused on Improving Governance and Accountability in Primary and junior secondary Education in Nigeria at Grand Ibro Hotel Annex, Abuja More »

IMPROVING GOVERNANCE AND ACCOUNTABILITY IN BASIC EDUCATION IN NIGERIA

Three-Day Training Workshop which focused on Improving Governance and Accountability in Primary and junior secondary Education in Nigeria at Grand Ibro Hotel Annex, Abuja More »

IMPROVING GOVERNANCE AND ACCOUNTABILITY IN BASIC EDUCATION IN NIGERIA

Three-Day Training Workshop which focused on Improving Governance and Accountability in Primary and junior secondary Education in Nigeria at Grand Ibro Hotel Annex, Abuja More »

 

Lagos SUBEB Pledge to Support Campaign on Effective Quality Basic Education

DSCN4701Dr. Ganiyu Sopeyin, Executive Chairman, Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board (LSUBEB) has expressed the board’s support and willingness to collaborate with Human Development Initiatives (HDI) on her  project aimed at improving access to quality education at the local government level for the development of education in the state. This assertion was made during HDI-cluster delegate advocacy visit to LSUBEB led by Prof. Sarah Oloko, Chairperson, HDI Board of Trustees. The team appealed to LSUBEB to ensure successful implementation of Universal Basic Education (UBE) policy at the grassroots level, completion of abandoned school projects in the state among others.  On the issue of un-accessed Federal Government matching grant allocation raised by the team, Dr. Sopeyin revealed that the Lagos State Government has paid the requisite counterpart fund for 2014 only that the FG has not fulfilled its part of the contract. Also in attendance at the meeting were Mrs. Abosede Adelaja, Board Secretary, LSUBEB and representatives of Parent Forum from Lagos Mainland.

HDI-Empowerment Trust Fund (ETF) for orphans and widows’ children Distribution of education materials to beneficiaries

Thursday 10th of September 2015, was a memorable day in the lives of ETF beneficiaries and their parents/ guardiaDSCN4310ns who gathered at the Human Development Initiatives Office complex to receive education packs. The packs handed down to beneficiaries contained school bags, mathematical set, exercise books and school sandals; parents of beneficiaries were also presented with money for their school uniforms at the event. While speaking at the event, the Acting Executive Director of Human Development Initiatives, and Director of the HDI-ETF scheme, Mrs Olufunso Owasanoye noted that lack of important education materials such as were being handed over to beneficiaries, as well as the non-availability of generous schemes which can provide for indigent students may hamper the actualization of the Universal Basic Education goal. She therefore urged parents/guardians to monitor the academic progress of their children and see to their overall welfare, while ensuring that the money given for uniforms were not diverted into parents’ personal needs. She also charged beneficiaries of the scheme (orphans, children of widows/widowers) to be up and doing, noting that their excellent academic performance would encourage HDI and her several partners to continue with the scheme. She also promised that the organisation would purchase all  the necessary textbooks needed by beneficiaries and therefore directed them to present the organisation with copies of their list ofDSCN4345 books for the academic session, to  be  subsequently provided.

#REALCHANGE: HDI CAMPAIGNS FOR IMPROVED INFRASTRUCTURE IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS

Human Development InitiativesDSCN4179 organised a tweeting session on ‘the State of Infrastructure in Public Schools.’ The theme was apt as most public schools in Nigeria are faced with the challenge of inadequate and non-functional educational facilities; and dilapidated infrastructure. The tweeting session was aimed at getting the audience in the conversation and as well proffer solutions with a view to improving the current state of infrastructure in public schools. Using the hashtag #Realchange and #UBENigeria, the tweeting session had a total of 1,910,124 impressions and 1,348,803 reach.

Some of the suggestions arriving from the tweets are as follows:

  1. Education policy should integrate the visually impaired and special students into their academic infrastructural frame.
  2. The level of maintenance of existing infrastructure in public school should be scaled up.
  3. The Federal Government should assist both the State and Local Governments in providing modern infrastructure in public schools.
  4. Federal, State and Local governments should as a matter of urgency complete abandoned school projects to ease class congestion
  5.  DSCN4183 DSCN4184.

YCSI ORGANIZE TOWN HALL MEETINGS FOR COMMUNITY STAKEHOLDERS

Youth Child Support Initiatives (YCSI) in collaboration with Human Development Initiatives (HDI) organised town hall meetings for community stakeholders which include men, women, teachers, and youths in Enugu North and Nkanu West Local Government Areas of Enugu State. During the meetings, issues bothering on implementation of basic education in Nigeria and its challenges were discussed.

Noteworthy was the fact that participants emphatically pointed out challenges being faced by schools situated in the LGAs such as unconducive environment for teaching and learning, non-provision of teaching aids, lackadaisical attitude of some teachers in discharging their duties, dilapidated buildings, non-replacement of retired teachers with new ones among others.

The participants were encouraged to always report complaints to the Education Secretary, and the Local Government Education Authorities (LGEAs) for prompt intervention. Community members were also advised to participate actively in the governance of basic education at the local government level as education for all is the responsibility of all.

PARENTS ENJOINED TO PARTICIPATE IN GOVERNANCE OF BASIC EDUCATION

Human Development Initiatives (HDI) has called on parents and other community stakeholders to participate actively in the governance of basic education. This call was made at different sensitization and awareness programs organized in project locations including two LGAs in each of Lagos, Kano and FCT, Abuja. TheseSensitization Ibeju-Lekki2 programs were organised by HDI in collaboration with cluster Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) which include: Patriotic Citizens Initiatives (Lagos), Out-of-School Children Empowerment Foundation (Lagos), Grassroots Health Organisation (Kano) and the WellBeing Foundation Africa Abuja) for parents and community stakeholders .

Resource persons spoke on a variety of issues such as the roles of UBEC, SUBEB and LGEAs in providing quality basic education; the role of stakeholders, as well as the strategies for demanding quality basic education. It was noted that the prospects of UBE such as eradication of mass illiteracy, the phenomenon of out-of-school children and drop-ouidut from formal school system, improved access to functional, effective and free education amongst others, are only achievable if all relevant stakeholders show commitment.

The resource persons were Dr Chinwe Nwana, Dr Waziri Adisa, Yusuf Ahmed, Osele Kingsley, Johnson Ibidapo, Mrs Rashida Apahade, Adelola Adegbesan, Adeniyi Aremu,  Zainab Ahmed,  Hasna Yusuf, Osita Osemene, and Mrs. Olufunso Owasanoye. Resource persons, also reiterated the importance of setting up community-based school monitoring committees that function as task force to ensure that children are in school during school hours. This committee, acSensitization Bwari2cording to her should also be “saddled with the responsibility of reporting deficiencies, failures and abnormalities in schools to appropriate authorities”.

An appeal was also made to State Governments to pay the requisite counterpart fund in order to assess Federal Government matching grants allocated for the implementation of the Universal Basic Education programme. Judiciously utilizing this will go a long way in improving the quality of education across the States of the Federation.

UBEC DECLARE SUPPORT FOR HDI’s CAMPAIGN ON ACCESS TO QUALITY BASIC EDUCATION

The Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) has declared her unalloyed support for the implementation of Human Development Initiatives’ project on governance and accountability in basic education at tAdvocacy Visit to UBEC 4he grassroots level in Nigeria. Alhaji (Dr.) Dikko Suleiman, Executive Secretary, UBEC made this declaration during an advocacy visit of HDI and cluster organisations to the commission in Abuja. He said the commission is willing to partner with the HDI team in areas of sensitization, awareness and advocacy with a view to improving access to quality basic education. He emphasized that the falling standard of education can only be tackled through attitudinal change.

Prof. Sarah Oloko, Chair, HDI Board of Trustees, who led the delegation, spoke on issues of weak governance structure, bureaucratic bottlenecks at the various levels of government and MDAs, inadequate and non-functional educational facilities, dilapidated infrastructure in schools, inadequate and low quality of teachers, non-implementation of a meal per day for pupils in primary schools etc. She also drew attention to the recommendations from the communiqué issued at a three-day workshop on governance and accountability in basic education. Prof. Oloko agitated for CSO desk officers in SUBEBs and LGEAs who would be saddled with the responsibility of monitoring, tracking, evaluating and reporting progress.

She solicited the support of the commission in the course of executing the project and formally presented the communiqué issued at a three-day workshop on governance and accountability in basic education held in Abuja alongside copies of information, education and communication (IEC) materials produced by the group.

LOCAL GOVERNANCE AND EDUCATION PROJECT TEAM CALLS LAGOS STATE GOVERNMENT ON COMPLETION OF ABANDONED SCHOOL BUILDING PROJECTS

Local Governance and Education Project Team has appealed to Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, Governor of Lagos State and Lagos State Ministry of Education on the completion of the abandoned 3-storey school buildings at Onike Girls High School, Yaba; Fazil Omar High School, Iwaya; St. Francis Junior Grammar School, Iwaya; and Igbobi Junior High School, Igbobi for the benefits of the students, teachers, parents, community members and as a way of improving the quality of education in Lagos State.

This appeal was made during a press briefing in Lagos organised by the team which comprise of six non-governmental organizations, namely: Human Development Initiatives (HDI), Out-of-School Children Empowerment Foundation (OSCEF), Youth Child Support Initiative (YCSI), Patriotic Citizen Initiatives (PCI), The WellBeing Foundation Africa (WBFA) and Grassroots Health Organization of Nigeria (GHON) working on a project aimed at improving and enhancing governance and accountability for effective and accessible primary and junior secondary education at the grassroots level.

Addressing the press, Mrs. Olufunso Owasanoye, Acting Executive Director, Human Development Initiatives (HDI) said the abandoned 3-story modern building with 24 standard classrooms and 4 staff rooms/offices is situated in Onike Girls High School, Yaba; Fazil Omar High School, Iwaya; St. Francis Junior Grammar School, Iwaya; and Igbobi Junior High School, Igbobi.  “The buildings almost at the stage of completion with roof, doors and windows were abandoned by the immediate past administration and have continued to deteriorate thereby constituting nuisance.”

The construction of the modern school building in each of the above-mentioned schools was awarded by Lagos State Government Lagos Metropolitan Development and Governance Project (LMDGP) to CONTRANSIMEX Nigeria Limited. The construction which commenced on 12th January, 2009 and was expected to be completed by July 2010, is believed to be a World Bank Assisted Project. According to the contractor, “the project was abandoned because the contract was terminated and while trying to reconcile accounts as jointly agreed upon by both parties, the Lagos State Government has hitherto only made part payment, thus the project could not be completed”.

According to her, Lagos State has about 1,007 primary schools; 348 junior secondary schools and 310 senior secondary schools, but a number of these public schools are confronted with inadequate and non-functional educational facilities such as chairs and desks, inadequate instructional and learning materials, dilapidated buildings, inadequate water and sanitary facilities and so on. She averred that a teaching-learning environment that is conducive would significantly contribute to the attainment of educational objectives. However, “lack or inadequate buildings cum infrastructures remains the plight of most public schools, having positive correlation with decline in the quality of education”. Most classrooms in public schools in Lagos State are congested against international best practices. Without doubt, overcrowded classrooms can disrupt free flow of interaction between teacher and students thereby diminishing the quantity and quality of teaching and learning.

She said a project of this magnitude should not be abandoned at this point in time when access to quality education is being envisaged. Completion of these modern school buildings becomes necessary as it will go a long way in meeting the basic learning needs of pupils.

Mrs. Owasanoye on behalf of the Local Governance and Education Project Team also commended the Lagos State Government on their impact in the area of education, and also for employing over one thousand primary school teachers recently.

Speaking on behalf of the concerned Parents Forum chairmen of the schools, Deacon Olusoji Adams, Chairman, Parents Teacher Association Chairmen, Lagos Mainland Central also appealed to the listening Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Akinwunwi Ambode on timely completion of the abandoned school projects. He said that this will go a long way in reducing classrooms’ congestion and as well bring about conducive teaching and learning environment.

Click here to view the press release…

Press release on the state of abandoned school building

Madam press releaseBelow is a copy of the HDI press statement on the state of abandoned school building projects granted on the 17th of September, 2015

Local Governance and Education Project Team Calls Lagos State Government on Completion of Abandoned School Building Projects

Lagos, Thursday, September 17, 2015: Local Governance and Education Project Team is appealing to the Lagos State Government to complete abandoned school buildings located in Yaba, Iwaya and Igbobi areas of Lagos State. The team which comprise of six non-governmental organizations, namely: Human Development Initiatives (HDI), Out-of-School Children Empowerment Foundation (OSCEF), Youth Child Support Initiative (YCSI), Patriotic Citizen Initiatives (PCI), The WellBeing Foundation Africa (WBFA) and Grassroots Health Organization of Nigeria (GHON) is working on a project aimed at improving and enhancing governance and accountability for effective and accessible primary and junior secondary education at the grassroots level.

On behalf of the Local Governance and Education Project Team, we want to commend the Lagos State Government on their impact in the area of education, and also for employing over one thousand primary school teachers recently. According to Nelson Mandela, education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.

Lagos State has about 1,007 primary schools; 348 junior secondary schools and 310 senior secondary schools, but a number of these public schools are confronted with inadequate and non-functional educational facilities such as chairs and desks, inadequate instructional and learning materials, dilapidated buildings, inadequate water and sanitary facilities and so on.

In a statement in Lagos, Mrs. Olufunso Owasanoye, Acting Executive Director, Human Development Initiatives (HDI) said the abandoned 3-story modern building with 24 standard classrooms and 4 staff rooms/offices is situated in four public schools which includes: Onike Girls High School, Yaba; Fazil Omar High School, Iwaya; St. Francis Junior Grammar School, Iwaya; and Igbobi Junior High School, Igbobi. “The buildings almost at the stage of completion with roof, doors and windows were abandoned by the immediate past administration and have continued to deteriorate thereby constituting nuisance.”

Information gathered revealed that construction of the modern school building in each of the above-mentioned schools was awarded by Lagos State Government Lagos Metropolitan Development and Governance Project (LMDGP) to CONTRANSIMEX Nigeria Limited. The construction which commenced on 12th January, 2009 and was expected to be completed by July 2010, is believed to be a World Bank Assisted Project. According to the contractor, “the project was abandoned because the contract was terminated and while trying to reconcile accounts as jointly agreed upon by both parties, the Lagos State Government has hitherto only made part payment, thus the project could not be completed”.

A teaching-learning environment that is conducive would significantly contribute to the attainment of educational objectives. However, “lack or inadequate buildings cum infrastructures remains the plight of most public schools, having positive correlation with decline in the quality of education”. Most classrooms in public schools in Lagos State are congested against international best practices. Without doubt, overcrowded classrooms can disrupt free flow of interaction between teacher and students thereby diminishing the quantity and quality of teaching and learning.

A project of this magnitude should not be abandoned at this point in time when access to quality education is being envisaged. Completion of these modern school buildings becomes necessary as it will go a long way in meeting the basic learning needs of pupils.

We therefore appeal to Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, Governor of Lagos State and Lagos State Ministry of Education on the completion of the abandoned 3-storey school buildings at Onike Girls High School, Yaba; Fazil Omar High School, Iwaya; St. Francis Junior Grammar School, Iwaya; and Igbobi Junior High School, Igbobi for the benefits of the students, teachers, parents, community members and as a way of improving the quality of education in Lagos State.

Sensitization/Awareness on improving the quality of basic education in Nigeria

HDI has made a call on parents to participate actively in the governance of basic education. This call was made during a sensitization and awareness forum organized in Lagos by Human Development Initiatives in collaboration with Patriotic Citizens Initiatives for parents and community stakeholders in Mainland Local Council Area of Lagos State. Speaking at the event which took place on the 30th of September, 2015, Dr. Waziri Adisa, a lecturer in the Department of Sociology, University of Lagos placed emphasis on the roles of Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), State Universal Basic Education Boards (SUBEBs) and Local Government Education Authorities (LGEAs) in the implementation of Universal Basic Education. He noted that the “prospects of UBE such as eradication of mass literacy, eradication of the phenomenon of out-of-school children and drop-out from formal school system, improved access to functional, effective and free education amongst others are only achievable if all relevant stakeholders show commitment”. He said that UBEC, SUBEBs, LGEAs and other education institutions should work hand-in-hand in order to ensure unfettered access to free and compulsory nine years of formal basic education.

Mrs. Olufunso Owasanoye, Acting Executive Director, Human Development Initiatives on her part stressed that parents should make sure their children are enrolled in school; having noted that preventing children from attending school is an offence punishable by law. She emphasized the importance of setting up a Community-based School monitoring committee that functions as a task force that would ensure that children are in school during school hours. This committee, according to her should also be saddled with the responsibility of reporting deficiencies, failures and abnormalities in schools to appropriate authorities”.

She also appealed to State Governments to pay the requisite counterpart fund in order to assess Federal Government matching grant allocated for the implementation of the Universal Basic Education programme. Accessing the matching grant and judiciously utilizing it for what it is meant for will go a long way in improving the quality of education across the States of the Federation.

ADVOCACY VISIT TO UNIVERSAL BASIC EDUCATION COMMISSION (UBEC) ABUJA

On Monday, 17th August, 2015 the representatives of Human Development Initiatives (HDI) and five other cluster members namely: Grassroots Health Organization of Nigeria (GHON), Youth Child Support Initiative (YCSI), Patriotic Citizen Initiatives (PCI), Out-of-School Children Empowerment Foundation (OSCEF) and Youth Ambassadors of Abuja Municipal as well as Bwari Area Council, paid an advocacy visit to Alhaji (Dr.) Dikko Suleiman, Executive Secretary of the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) in Abuja. This visit is one of several scheduled activities in executing a Local Governance and Education Project. During the visit, they solicited the support of the commission and formally presented the communiqué issued at a three-day workshop on governance and accountability in basic education held in Abuja. Also presented were copies of information, education and communication (IEC) materials.

Mr. Olayemi Samuel, Research and Programme Officer, Human Development Initiatives (HDI) explained that the project was aimed at improving governance and accountability for quality, effective and accessible basic education at the Local Government level in Nigeria. He also highlighted some of the activities that have been carried out by the team such as sensitizations, town hall meetings, advocacy visits to Local Government Education Authorities (LGEAs), tweeting sessions on improving funding of basic education, among others.

Prof. Sarah Oloko, Chair, HDI Board of Trustees, who led the delegation, spoke on issues of weak governance structure, bureaucratic bottleneck at various levels of government and MDAs, inadequate and non-functional educational facilities, dilapidated infrastructure in schools, inadequate and low quality of teachers, non-implementation of a meal per day for pupils in primary schools etc. She also drew attention to the recommendations from the communiqué issued at the end of a three-day training workshop on Improving Governance and Accountability in Basic Education in Nigeria. Prof. Oloko agitated for CSO desk officers in SUBEBs and LGEAs saddled with monitoring, tracking, evaluating and reporting progress.

Other members of the team were Mrs. Olufunso Owasanoye, Acting Executive Director, Human Development Initiatives (HDI); Hajiya Hadiza Nagona, Executive Director, Grassroots Health Organization of Nigeria (GHON); Mrs. Ijeoma Nnaji, Executive Director, Youth Child Support Initiative (YCSI); Comrade Osita Osemene, Executive Director, Patriotic Citizen Initiatives (PCI); Mr. Akeem Kelani, Executive Director, Out-of-School Children Empowerment Foundation (OSCEF); Mr. Yinka Saka, Finance Director, Human Development Initiatives (HDI); Mrs. Funmilayo Olooge, Programme Officer, Human Development Initiatives (HDI), Mr. Yahaya Bako, Youth Ambassador, Abuja Municipal Area Council and Mr. Solomon Garda, Youth Ambassador, Bwari Area Council Abuja.

The team members were received by Alhaji (Dr.) Dikko Suleiman, Executive Secretary, UBEC and Alhaji Kaoje, Director, Social Mobilization, UBEC. In his response, Alhaji (Dr.) Suleiman declared that the commission is willing to partner with the HDI team in areas of sensitization, awareness and advocacy. He explained that the local government is responsible for funding of basic education, teachers’ employment and students’ admission, while the State is responsible for senior secondary education (SS1 – SS3) as well as disbursing funds from the Federal to Local Governments. UBEC, in his words is only responsible for regulating school calendar and curriculum and basically intervenes on behalf of States even though majority of state Governors have refused to assess the matching grant allocation to States. According to him, “UBEC has no right to determine the quality of basic education in any State because implementation of UBE Act 2004 policy lies in the Local Governments. He maintained that each of the tiers of government should be made to know their roles in basic education, while reiterating the fact that the falling standard of education can only be tackled through attitudinal change.

With regards to the implementation of a meal per day for pupils in primary schools, Dr Suleiman stated that the Federal Government through his office carried out a feasibility costing which brings per day meals for pupils of primary schools in Nigeria to N2.8billion naira per day to implement the programme. However to make it sustainable, he suggested that the Government should not handle it alone but in conjunction with other partners such as state governments, communities, and the private sector.
He further highlighted the major challenge facing the implementation of the UBE Act. This according to him is because the governing body only dispenses funds and has no authority to track and monitor usage. He mentioned that he had already started working on a draft of the review of the UBE policy, and therefore solicited the support of CSOs in advocating for a review of the policy without politicizing the process.
It was agreed upon that there should be a community component to every policy and that there should be a review of the UBE policy to empower the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), to be more than just a dispenser of funds without the authority to monitor and track its usage. This would ensure that the funds released are used for what they are meant.
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