The Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) says it has committed more than N35 billion in training 1,172,700 primary school teachers across the country in the last seven years.
The Executive Secretary of the commission, Dr Hamid Bobboyi, made the disclosure on the side-line of a summit organised by Education Writers Association of Nigeria (EWAN) on Friday in Lagos.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Bobboyi, represented by his Deputy, Dr Sharon Oviemuno also said the commission had constructed e-libraries in unity colleges.
“The commission has spent over N35 billion in the training of 1,172,700 teachers across the country between 2009 and 2015.
“It also constructed and handed over 62 e-library complexes to some federal unity colleges and 51 Junior Model Girls Secondary Schools nationwide,’’ he said.
According to him, pursuing manpower and infrastructure development to strengthen basic education is part of the mandate of the commission.
The executive secretary, however, said the strides were being impeded by lack of political will and commitment to basic education by some state governments.
According to him, some of the states have been very slow in accessing matching grants to tackle challenges in the sector, while their budgetary provisions to the sector is also very low.
Bobboyi stressed that the schools system was still bedevilled by security challenges which must be tackled to develop people’s confidence and encourage enrolment.
He said focus must be made to strengthen the capacity of schools to provide spaces to the over 10.5 million out-of-school children in the country.
“We plan to create a 100 per cent access for school-age children to graduate from the Basic Education institutions, possess literacy, numeracy and basic life skills so as to live meaningfully and contribute to national development.
“We also target 100 per cent, basic education schools to have conducive teaching and learning environment.
“In terms of equity, we are striving to eliminate gender disparity in basic education, redress all forms of disadvantages and promote inclusive education.’’
According to him, the commission would also cater for young persons, who for one reason or the other had an interruption in their schooling, through appropriate complementary approaches.