The Executive Secretary Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), Dr. Hamid Bobboyi explains the commission’s mandate and activities. He said UBEC was launched in 1999, in Sokoto but was established by an act in 2004. And it is basically meant to provide free and compulsory education. “It covers the two basic (primary) and upper basics (secondary) it is also based on equity – gender, disadvantaged groups including those with one challenge or the other, either in hearing or in sight or in the areas of moving from one place to the other to acquire education”, he said.
One of the problems according to him is the almajeri children who have not been an integral part of the programme. The focus of the commission he said is on three mandate areas of assessing the system, delivery and how equitable are the services.
He pointed out that basic education is the responsibility of the Local Government, secondary education the responsibility of the state.
Some of the challenges of the commission border on infrastructures and in the area of planning. The commission according to him has to plan in conjunction with other partners, the states and key operators in the system.
He states that UBEC does not recruit teachers, and that it is done by the local government. “To make the required change we have to plan with the states, and do the necessary oversight to make sure that things work”, he explained.
“The gender parity in the South east is that more girls go to school than boys, in the North the challenge is the almajeri and elsewhere more boys go to schools than girls”, he pointed out. And these are what the commission is meant to correct.
He said he that states that want to assess UBEC grand must provide the matching grant.
He revealed that about 70% of out of school children come from the North; the girl child the almajeris, the disabled.
UBEC programmes according to him have been addressing these issues and that government has been able to provide matching grants for states to provide infrastructure. Government he said has been able to supply text books in terms of meeting demand of instructional materials.
“The commission has been able to support qualitative delivery of professional teacher development”, he concluded.