UBEC to spend over 95% of N116bn on salaries •Yobe gets 50% of N4.6bn capital vote
•South-South, South-East ignored
Over 95 per cent of the N116 billion proposed allocation to the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) has been voted to pay salaries.
Of the remaining N4.6 billion allocated for capital expenditure, projects in the North East will take N2.150 billion with Yobe State alone consuming N2.1 billion while a project in Bauchi State was allocated N50 million.
Two regions of South-East and South/South were completely left out of the projects.
Though UBEC is an agency particularly dedicated to pre-primary, primary and junior secondary education, a sum of money was allocated to the purchase of a vehicle for a tertiary institution.
“Supply of school buses for secondary schools, Islamiya and tertiary institutions (academic staff and student union) in Yobe north senatorial district, Yobe state N300,000,000”, a line item in the details of proposed allocation to UBEC explained.
Other capital provisions for the state include “supply of Furniture to Schools in 6lgas of Yobe North Senatorial District N400,000,000
“Construction of 6nos of Complete Schools in Bade, Jakusko, Machina, Yusufari, Nguru and Karasuwa Yobe State N600,000,000.
“Construction of solar powered boreholes in some selected schools in Yobe North Senatorial District N200,000,000
“Supply of desktop computers to Schools in Bade, Jakusko, Machina, Yusyfari, Nguru, And Karasuwa LGAs of Yobe State N300,000,000
“Renovation of classrooms blocks across Yobe North Senatorial District, Yobe State N300,000,000”
For Bauchi, two blocks of classrooms would be constructed in Alkaleri and Kirfi Local Local Government Areas, Bauchi South Senatorial District for N50,000,000.
According to UNICEF, even though primary education is officially free and compulsory, about 10.5 million of the country’s children aged 5-14 years are not in school.
“Only 61 percent of 6-11 year-olds regularly attend primary school and only 35.6 percent of children aged 36-59 months receive early childhood education.
“In the north of the country, the picture is even bleaker, with a net attendance rate of 53 percent. Getting out-of-school children back into education poses a massive challenge.
“Gender, like geography and poverty, is an important factor in the pattern of educational marginalization. States in the north-east and north-west have female primary net attendance rates of 47.7 percent and 47.3 percent, respectively, meaning that more than half of the girls are not in school.
“The education deprivation in northern Nigeria is driven by various factors, including economic barriers and socio-cultural norms and practices that discourage attendance in formal education, especially for girls.” UNICEF stated.
UBEC on the other hand describes itself as Federal Governments agency saddled with the responsibility for coordinating all aspects of UBE programme implementation.
“UBE Programme was introduced in 1999 by the Federal Government of Nigeria as a reform programme aimed at providing greater access to, and ensuring quality of basic education throughout Nigeria. The UBEC Programme objectives include:“Ensuring an uninterrupted access to 9-year formal education by providing FREE and COMPULSORY basic education for every child of school-going age.
“Six years of Primary Education Three years of Junior Secondary Education Providing Early Childhood Care Development and Education (ECCDE).”
The remaining vote for capital expenditure was distributed among the North West- N300 million; to be expended on construction of blocks of 3 classrooms with furniture in Doguwa and Tudun Wada locasl government areas of.
In the South-West only Lagos State was earmarked to benefit with N500 million planned to be spent on supply of laptops with installed e-textbooks for improved learning of secondary school students in Lagos UBEC.
Plateau State in the North-Central was allocated N50 million for construction of two blocks of three classrooms in Jos, Plateau North Senatorial Distric.
The balance of N1.605 billion will be deployed to payment of 5,000 Federal Teachers Scheme Allowance at the rate of 30,000 per month for 12 months,