USAID, NGOs task new SUBEB boss on policy implementation

GUARDIAN – Human Development Initiatives (HDI) in collaboration with other member non-governmental organisations (NGOs), supported by the United State Agency for International Development (USAID), have appealed to the newly appointed Chairman of Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Dr. Ganiu Remi Sopeyin, to use his office and influence to develop education in the state.

This, they said, he could achieve by ensuring the successful implementation of the Universal Basic Education (UBE) policy, especially at the grassroots level.

Chair of the HDI Board of Trustees, Prof. Sarah, Oloko, who spoke on behalf of others during a courtesy visit to the SUBEB boss recently, urged Sopeyin to tactfully look into challenges confronting public education in the state.

She said adequate implementation of the UBE policy would help eradicate illiteracy, ignorance and poverty thereby accelerating national development.

Oloko also highlighted inadequate funding, poor quality of teachers, unwillingness and inability of state and local councils to fund and monitor primary education as well as non-functional educational facilities as major factors bedeviling the sector.

She regretted that, “The problem of funding is compounded by the inability of the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) to track and monitor usage of funds dispensed to some of these schools.”
Commending the NGOs for their partnership, Sopeyin expressed hope that with concerted effort the challenges would be surmounted.

He said, “Everything cannot be done by government alone but I am pleased to inform you that Lagos State is at the forefront of tackling these challenges. Recently the state government approved the take-over of some schools set up by communities to improve on what they already had.”

On her part, SUBEB Secretary, Abosede Adelaja, lamented that the influx of people into the state was stretching educational facilities in it to the limit, adding that, “the present administration is committed to ensuring that pupils do not reside more than one kilometre away from the school, which they attend.”

Other NGOs present at the meeting were Grassroots Health Organisation of Nigeria (GHON), Youth Child Support Initiative (YCSI), Patriotic Citizen Initiative (PCI), the WellBeing Foundation Africa (WBFA), and Out-of-School Children Empowerment Foundation (OSCEF).

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