From Mustapha Adamu, Kano
The Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) has approved the total sum of N2.8 billion for the take-off of the School-Based Management Committee School-Improvement Program (SBMC-SIP) in Nigeria.
Speaking at the flag off of the programme, held at Kano State Government House yesterday, the Director of Social Mobilization, UBEC, Bello Kagara announced the approval of the money, saying that 2,500 communities would benefit from the project.
He stated that an output of 5,010 classrooms would benefit, adding that there would be an average of 2 classrooms per project.
Kagara explained that the estimation is on construction only, but communities that opt for supply of furniture, renovation, completion of abandoned buildings and purchase of teaching materials are also eligible.
Explaining the qualification criteria for benefitting from the project, Kagara stated that “such schools must be public primary schools, constituting SBMC or having functional SBMCs, have the ability to provide at least 10 percent counterpart contribution and have valid justification for the support fund.”
In his remark, the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Sony Ochenu said that the programme is one of the collaboration strategies for creating linkages and partnerships with stakeholders in the delivery of education in Nigeria.
“The UBE program, as you are aware, is Nigeria’s homegrown initiative aimed at addressing national aspirations and meeting global expectations through the provision of qualitative functional education free if charge, to all children of school-going age,” Adamu said
On his part, the Executive Secretary, UBEC, Dr Hamid Bobboyi also said “It is a widely held view that no nation can sustain a robust, functional and qualitative Basic Education without the meaningful and strategic involvement of its citizenry. The need for institution the SBMC-SIP was informed by the fact that the overall success of the basic education sub-sector in Nigeria depends largely on the level of community awareness, participation and support to the program.
“The vision of the Commission in the SBMC-SIP was therefore to put up a strategy for school development whereby community initiated Self-help projects would be implemented by the SBMCs.
“Since globally the SMBCs have been recognized as school development agents the approach will also have the advantage of increasing and functionality of the SBMCs to be vehicles for facilitating grassroots advocacy, sensitization and mobilization in favor of school development and the enrollment and and retention of all categories of children in schools.” He said
In his remarks, Kano State Governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje assured that his administration would continue to support such projects at his level.
Ganduje also called on communities in the state to embrace and benefit from such projects for the development of the state.
Our correspondent reports that cheques were handed to the beneficiary communities at the flag-off ceremony.