The Universal Basic Education Commission, UBEC, on Monday, said the population of primary schoolteachers in the country reduced by 29 per cent in the wake of the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic.
This was as the commission stressed that education funding should not be left to the government alone, noting that Nigeria has 45 million children currently enrolled in its basic education system.
The Executive Secretary of UBEC, Dr Hamid Boboyyi, disclosed this at a ‘One-day Meeting on Promoting Partnership with the Organised Private Sector’, in Abuja.
Boboyyi said despite allocating over N100bn to education every year, resources from the Federal Government alone could no longer run the system.
He called on the private sector to appreciate the importance of providing education for children at an early age.
“Resources alone from the Federal Government cannot run the system. Nigeria has over 45 million children in the basic education subsector and with this number, we require the necessary classrooms.
“A state may get a maximum of maybe N3 billion in the best times, but N3 billion cannot take care of these. It needs instructional materials, you need a lot of other things,” he said.
On the objective of the meeting, he said the commission brought together key stakeholders in order to have a functional relationship with the private sector.
The UBEC chief executive also lamented that there was 29 per cent reduction in the number of teachers in Nigeria’s basic school system following the COVID-19 crisis.
According to him, “Unless we can be able to pay our teachers and compensate them properly, motivate them it is very difficult to deliver the kind of education that we all dream of.”
He noted that part of the interface with the organised private sector was to work out a programme that would be beneficial to the development of basic education in Nigeria.
The Head Oando Foundation, Mrs. Adegoke Adekanla, commended UBEC for its commitment to advancing basic education in the country.
Represented by an official of the foundation, Ede Okechukwu, she stressed that “Basic education forms the foundation upon which all other forms of learning and development rest. It is the fundamental right of every child and the cornerstone of a prosperous and equitable society. Access to quality basic education is not just a goal; it is a moral imperative that shapes the future of nations.”