Nigeria has shortage of 277,537 teachers in basic education schools ― UBEC

• N153 billion disbursed to states for UBE in 4 years-FG

There is currently a shortage of about 277,537 teachers in basic education schools in Nigeria, a new  National Personnel Audit report has indicated.

This report of acute shortage of teachers came when the Federal Government has revealed that it has disbursed over N153 billion to state governments in the last four years for the implementation of the Universal Basic Education (UBE) in the country.

These were made known on Monday in Abuja where the 2018 National Personnel Audit (NPA), conducted by the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), on public and private basic education schools in Nigeria, was officially launched by the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu.

According to the report, there was a deficit of 135,319 teachers at the Early Childhood Care Development Education, 139,772 deficit in primary schools and 2,446 shortage in Junior Secondary Schools across the nation.

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The report also put the number of primary-school-age children who are not in school at 10,193,918, which is said to be 25 per cent of all primary school-age children in the country.

On school enrollment, the 2018 NPA report indicated that there are 27.8 million learners in primary schools-22,384,755 in public primary schools and 5,504,632 enrollment in private schools.

The Minister of Education in his address during the presentation of the report to the public at a ceremony held at the International Conference Centre, Abuja, disclosed that from 2015 when the current government came in, to date, over N173 billion has been released to UBEC as matching grant.

Adamu noted that out of this figure, N153 billion was disbursed to the states government for the implementation of the Universal Basic education in the country.

Similarly, he said the sum of N34 billion was also released to states for Teacher Professional Development while over N8 billion was released to states for the education of children with special needs.

He noted that when it became apparent that most state governments were not willing to pay their counterpart funds in order to access the matching grant from UBEC, President Muhammadu Buhari approved the deduction of N71 billion from the source from the share of states of Paris Club refund.

“This was paid into UBEC account with the Central Bank of Nigeria. In June 2019, UBEC fulfilled its own matching grant obligation by releasing the sum of N142 billion to respective states for the implementation of basic education.

He commended UBEC, World Bank and other critical stakeholders that contributed to the success of 2018 National Personnel Audit exercise, saying the government would come up with policies on key findings and recommendations of the NPA report.

He, however, noted that the report was not perfect, urging various levels of government and stakeholders to fill the gaps so as to ensure improved basic education delivery in the country.

Executive Secretary of Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), Dr Hamid Bobboyi in his remark said Nigeria needed Basic Education Data for planning and effective management of the sub-sector.

He expressed the commitment of the Commission towards ensuring that every girl-child in Nigeria receives quality and functional education in the country.

He noted that through the 2018 National Personnel Audit, the Commission acquired the Global Position System (GPS) coordinates of all schools in the country covered by the census.

Bobboyi added that the geospatial data generated has proven exceptionally useful in building a Geographic Information System (GIS), to support School Mapping and other applications.

He disclosed that this was the first time the exercise involved not only public schools but also private and faith-based institutions, stressing however that despite initial suspicions, most the institutions came to embrace the exercise and to cooperate with UBEC and its partners to make the exercise a success.

He noted that despite the success recorded, there are still data gaps which must be taken care of as the country moves forward in sustaining the educational database.

He also announced at the occasion that UBEC working with the state and local government levels has put in place a dynamic data collection regime that would see to the periodic update of the National Basic Education Database, beginning from January 2020.

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