UBEC to deploy space technology in project monitoring to ensure quality

The Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) said on Monday that it would deploy space technology in the monitoring of projects to ensure quality delivery of infrastructure for basic education in the country.

The Executive Secretary of the commission, Dr Hamid Bobboyi, said this in Kaduna, at the opening of a four-day training for UBEC Physical Planning Officers and State Universal Basic Education Boards (SUBEB).

Bobboyi, who was represented by the Director, Planning, Research and Statistics, UBEC, Mrs Titi Onosede, said that UBEC had reviewed the minimum standard for infrastructural development in basic education.

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According to him, space technology will be employed in the new standard, which sets the level of acceptable standards and gives practical guidance on how to achieve them.

He explained that UBEC, in partnership with the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA), had created a GPS-enabled platform to map and geographically locate projects being undertaken by UBEC and SUBEB.

Bobboyi said that the e-platform would enable the commission to ascertain the status and quality of projects from across the country before payment would be made to contractors.

“Since the commencement of the Universal Basic Education (UBE) implementation in 2005, the monitoring structure had essentially depended on the period funds were released to states rather than tracking the activities related to project circle.

“There was also an inadequate number of visits to projects sites, weak follow-up mechanism and absence of checks and balances in the monitoring, all of which have worked against quality delivery of projects.

“To address the challenges, UBEC has decided to introduce space technology. We are consulting NASRDA, Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN) and other professionals in the building industry to strengthen the monitoring structure,” he said.

The executive secretary further explained that the new structure would increase visits to projects sites which were now tied to project circle, encourage check and balances and enhance transparency and accountability in project execution.

He also said that the deployment of technology would enable UBEC and SUBEB to confirm status reports from their offices, adding that the involvement of COREN, with other professionals, would check quackery at project sites.

“It will also enhance quality by ensuring adherence to contract specifications which, in the long run, will guarantee value for money,” Bobboyi added.

Also speaking, UBEC’s Director, Physical Planning, Mr Sadiq Sa’ad, identified human resources as the most critical asset needed by any organisation to achieve set goals.

According to him, UBEC will continue to lag behind if it fails to recurrently train and update the capacity of its human resources.

“It is in this regard that UBEC has identified training and retraining as a key element in achieving a result and delivering expected quality in projects in states across the country.

“Also, the deployment of space technology is part of the changes introduced by the commission to strengthen its monitoring mechanism to deliver quality infrastructure for the enhancement of quality teaching and learning,” he said.

Sa’ad explained that more than 64 physical planning officers of UBEC and SUBEB would be trained on how to use electronic gadgets in the monitoring of projects across the country.

He added that the training had equally provided an opportunity to share problems and challenges, proffer solutions and learn new ways of doing things.

Also speaking, Dr Godstime James of NASRDA, said that the agency had created a server and a database, using a cloud platform, for the monitoring officials uploading status of projects from any part of the country.

James added that the officials would be trained on how to use tablets to effectively carry out project monitoring and upload the data obtained at projects sites into the server.

“This, in the long run, will improve efficiency in monitoring and check corruption in the system,” he said.

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