The Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) is set to conduct a world-class assessment survey to ascertain learning outcomes in the nation’s basic education sector.
UBEC executive secretary, Dr Hamid Bobboyi stated this in Abuja on Wednesday during a two-day international workshop on Large Scale Assessment for Basic Education, organised by the Commission in collaboration with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
He said the 2021/2022 National Assessment on Learning Achievements in Basic Education (NALABE ) will also evaluate the impact of the multi-billion naira annual interventions at the basic education level.
While saying each state receives an average of N1.5 billion for funding of basic education from UBEC every year, which add up to N3 billion with payment of matching grant, Bobboyi lamented that the amount has not adequately rub-off on learning achievements in schools.
Bobboyi also expressed concerns over a seeming learning crisis in the country, saying billions of naira being channeled into the basic education sector by the Commission has not adequately correlated with learning outcomes.
“You know UBEC is an intervention agency; it provides resources. In a good year, apart from 2020 that was affected by COVID-19 we dispense billions every year.”
A state gets a minimum of about N1.5 billion and at least N3 billion (as a whole) on a yearly basis.
“But at the end of the day you start wondering – the money and resources going to these states and agencies that are implementing basic education. How much of it goes down to the level of the classroom and making a difference in teaching and learning? Because it worries one. We measure our success by how much money we are able to give out. We have dispensed this, we have done that, and so on.
“We have dispensed textbooks to states and SUBEBs will wait for UBEC to pay for transportation of these books to various schools and most of the time the textbooks are locked up in the headmasters’ offices awaiting instructions from their ministries on what to do with them,” he said.
On his part, the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, described the planned large-scale learning assessment as a right step in the right direction.
Represented by an official of the Federal Ministry of Education, Mrs H. Lawal, the minister said the national assessment was originally designed to be conducted every four years, adding that UBEC had before now carried out similar exercises in 2001, 2003, 2006, 2011 and 2017.
On his part, UNICEF’s country representative, Peter Hawkins, tasked Nigeria on improving learning outcomes among pupils.
He said the national learning assessment is critical to the future of every Nigerian child, while pledging the unwavering support of UNICEF to UBEC on the exercise.