The Human Development Initiatives (HDI) has called to sensitize stakeholders on what their roles should be in the development of Universal Basic Education (UBE) and ensuring that education infrastructures get delivered to schools in Nigeria.
The sensitization event, which was held in the Surulere area of Lagos state, had in attendance School Based Management Committees (SBMCs) members, Parents’ Forum (PF) members, Community Based Organisations, Community Development Associations (CDAs), traditional and religious leaders, union leaders, market women, Association of Mothers and members from the Child Protection Network.
Speaking to PEPL NEWS at the meeting, Executive Director, HDI, Mrs. Olufunso Owasanoye, represented by Mr. Johnson Ibidapo stated that the program was put in place to make stakeholders know that they also have a major role to play in the success of UBE in Nigeria.
“Stakeholders are supposed to ensure that all children are in school. Nigeria as at today has over 12.5 million children out of school and that is supposed to be a concern for all well meaning Nigerians. Furthermore, there are projects that have been allocated by the government for basic education in all places in Nigeria and particularly in this LGEA, surulere. so we are here to make sure stakeholders understand their roles in monitoring projects.”
When asked about the level of government intervention and what stakeholders could do to improve UBE, he said “To be balanced, the government has tried but we aren’t where we are supposed to be yet. A lot has been done and we have seen changes between 2004-2018 but many still need to be done. Many schools still lack infrastructure.
“There are schools with children overpopulating the class. The normal ratio should be about 40 pupils to a teacher but we have schools in Surulere that have 150/200 pupils to one teacher. We were told that some schools lost their buildings and needed to renovate, some dilapidated and needed to be destroyed so as to erect new ones. So there is still more to be done.”
“Education for all is the responsibility of all. You are supposed to be an overseer and even be a personal independent monitor of the SUBEB and UBEC project going on in your environment. The projects are being sponsored with taxpayers money. It is our money so go to the schools and ask questions. Some contractors deliberately omit issues, deliberately leave some projects uncompleted. You can also report to us on our website and social media platforms.”
The chairman of SBMC central, Surulere, Alhaji Bolaji, while speaking to PEPL NEWS complained about poor political will being one of the challenges faced in having improved UBE in Nigeria.
He said: “The political will of our leaders who are handling education is nothing to write home about. For instance, there is a school in Moshalashi bus-stop of Surulere, the school has mast land and a vocational center was built in the school. It was the LG chairman of Surulere that brought an NGO to government property and they are still occupying the place till date whereas the school is in very bad shape and still not renovated. We had to move the students in that school to another school nearby. It is a political problem. Political leaders are a hindrance to public education in Surulere.