Bauchi State Govt Spent over 8 Billion Naira on Basic Education
By Bashir Hassan Hassan
Toward addressing gaps in basic education in Bauchi State, Governor Bala Mohammed said his administration had so far expended the sum of over eight billion naira for the implementation and execution of educational policies and programmes in the state.
The governor announced this at the official distribution of materials to Better Education Service Delivery for All (BESDA) project learning centres/UBEC Instructional materials and the commissioning of the 2019 UBEC/SUBEB Intervention Project at Shadawanka Pri School, Army Barracks, Bauchi.
Governor Bala Mohammed said the work involved construction and renovation of 864 blocks of classrooms which translated into 2413 classes across the twenty Local Government Areas of the state.
He said as a reward for the outstanding performance of Bauchi state in the 2017/2018 and 2019 intervention projects , particularly in the payment of counterpart fund , UBEC Abuja has forwarded the state’s basic education board the state’s 2020 and 2021 Federal statutory allocation of UBEB matching grant to the tune of 1,661,720,779.60.
According to the governor, the state government has since provided its counterpart funds of the same amount and it will continue to fulfil agreements signed with development partners.
“It may interest you to note that, this administration at the take-off of BESDA programme in the state provided teaching and learning materials worth over 53 million naira and distributed to the beneficiary Local Government Education Authorities.”
He said his administration has equally released the sum of 436,882,951.26 as part of its commitment in supporting USAID NEI-Plus programme in the state, adding that, in all the beneficiary Local Government Authorities of NEI-Plus, the benefiting pupils can perfectly read and write.
The governor said the African Development Bank has intervened in the education sector of the state through the construction of three models schools in the state to improve the quality of education and finding a lasting solution to the problem of out of school children in the state.
Governor Bala Mohammed at the occasion assured the people of Bauchi state that his administration is working tirelessly to curve the problem of shortage of staff in the Local Government Education Authorities in order to improve the standard of education in the state.
In a key note adrress, the Deputy Executive Secretary (Technical), Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), Dr Bala Zakari said the BESDA project is being supported by the World Bank with the sum of 611 million US dollars in 17 focus states including Bauchi state with the aim of increasing equitable access for out of school children and improve literacy in the benefiting states as well as strengthen accountability for results, in basic education in Nigeria.
He said the Better Education Service Delivery for All (BESDA) project is a result-based programme in which states can only access funds after achieving results as detailed by the programme “Disbursement Linked Indicators and to be confirmed by an Independent Verification Agent”.
Dr Bala Zakari pointed out that, the availability and utilisation of instructional materials in Non-formal and formal education enhanced conducive atmosphere for effective teaching and learning.
“This event is very auspicious as it confirms our determination and commitment to ensuring greater achievement of eradication/reduction of number of out of school children. This is one strategy that UBEC has deliberately adopted with a view to strengthen our commitment to the education for All across the country.”
In a welcome address, the Executive Chairman, Bauchi State Universal Basic Education Board, Surumbai Dahiru Bauchi said 941 learning centres in 9 Local Government Areas of the state are currently participating in the 3 year BESDA project for the provision of basic education.
Surumbai Dahiru Bauchi said the importance of instructional materials cannot be over emphasized as the availability and utilisation of instructional materials in schools enhance teaching and learning.