President Muhammudu Buhari has called on state governments to take necessary actions to ensure improved access, equity and quality in education delivery of their various states.
Buhari, represented by the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu made this known in Abuja on Monday at the National Launching and Presentation of the 2018 National Personnel Audit (NPA) Report.
The document was conducted by the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) with efforts from other stakeholders.
He said that this was necessary to close the gaps identified in the report and also to find lasting solutions to the problems of education in the country.
According to him, the NPA is key to the realisation of the Ministerial Strategic Plan (MSP) because everything ultimately depends on it.
“Without data, you cannot plan anything, the government will ensure that all Nigerian children are given equal opportunity to complete basic education.
“This document contains data of enrollment and locations of schools for private and non-private, the number of qualified teachers and other indices in order to determine key indicators in the education sub-sector.
“ Our stakeholders will find this document useful. However, this is not to say that that this document being launched today is perfect.
“ I am sure the report has revealed some gaps that need to be filled at various levels of government in other to improve basic education delivery in our country.
“ I, therefore, urge state governments to critically examine the findings or recommendations contained in this report that affect their states and take necessary actions to ensure improved access, equity and quality in education delivery.
“States with very high deficiencies in teachers and infrastructure facilities need to redouble their effort to close these gaps”.
He added that the ministry would critically examine the findings and recommendations contained in the report and come up with policies and actions that would help move the sector forward.
He noted that initiative and interventions in the education sector was borne out of the belief in the centrality of education for social, political, economic transformation of the country.
He therefore, commended UBEC for taking the giant step in ensuring that the report came to limelight.
“From 2015 when this government came into being, the sum of N173,121,513,063.98 was received by UBEC as marching grant and out of this N153,620,245, 040. 44 was released to states.
“Similarly the sum of N34, 431,470,411.38 was released to states for teachers professional development and N8,165,856,746.46 was released to states for the education of training of special needs”.
Also, the Executive Secretary UBEC Dr. Hamid Bobboyi stressed that the country needed basic education data for planning and effective management of the sub sector for planning.
Bobboyi said through the 2018 National Personal Audit, UBEC had been able to acquire the Global Position System (GPS) coordinates of all schools in the country covered by the census.
According to him, the Geo spatial data generated has proven useful in building a geographic information system to support School Mapping.
“The National Personnel Audit was an exercise that brought together all the key stakeholders at the different levels of government and from different agencies including the private sector,to make the project a reality,” Bobboyi added.
In a remark, Dr Tunde Adekola, World Bank Education Specialist said the exercise was a value-added which would help to improve the education delivery in the country.
Adekola pledged World Bank readiness to continue to work with the government to improve on equitable access.
He, therefore, called for urgent coordination among the tiers of government as well as effective and efficient use of resources.
The document revealed that out of the total enrolment of 27,889,387 in primary schools, 5,504,632 which are 20 per cent come from the private schools while 23,384,755 are from the public schools.
Also, states such as Ekiti, Benue, Oyo, Edo and Osun top the five ranking states in the number of qualified teachers while Yobe, Gombe, Jigawa, Kebbi and Sokoto were ranked the five bottom states in qualified teachers.
There is currently a shortage of about 277,537 teachers in basic education schools in Nigeria.
According to the report, there was 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.
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 percent of all primary school age children in the country.