The Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) is to provide free textbooks to public primary schools across the country as part of the federal government’s plan to encourage basic school enrollment and reduce the number of out-of-school children.
Executive secretary of the commission, Dr Hameed Bobboyi stated this on Monday at a meeting with Education Correspondents Association of Nigeria (ECAN) led by its leader, Mr Ukwuatu Chuks in Abuja.
The UBEC executive secretary while revealing that the reading materials will be distributed simultaneously to all public primary schools explained that a monitoring mechanism will be put in place to avoid diversion.
Dr Bobboyi lamented that most states have failed to provide the required marching grant to access their counterpart fund and also pointed out that diversion of fund meant for basic education was responsible for the neglect and poor performance of the nation’s public primary schools.
He therefore urged states to ensure prompt payment of teachers’ salary, adequate welfare packages and training of teachers, provision of desks, structures and teaching aides to encourage good performance of public schools.
“You can provide the inputs, infrastructure and all what you think, at the end of the day, if you don’t pay the teachers, the entire infrastructure would amount to nothing because there could be no meaningful teaching and learning taking place with the four walls of education.”
The ECAN chairman, Mr Ukwuatu Chuks expressed satisfaction with UBEC’s plan to scale-up performance in basic education.
He promised that the association will do its best to assist the commission in achieving its set goals.