“The move is aimed at addressing the falling standards in the sector.”
The federal government is proposing to broaden its national compulsory education intervention policy to the senior secondary schools, the Minister of State for Education, Ezenwo Wike, has said.
An amendment of the Universal Basic Education (UBE) Act, which currently oversees a supposed compulsory, and free nine years of basic schooling in Nigeria, is to be effected in order to widen the intervention policy up to 12 years.
Wike, who spoke on Thursday at a meeting with the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, said the unprecedented move is certain to introduce key reforms to the nation’s ailing education sector.
Currently, the UBE Commission, through counterpart funding between the states and the federal government, takes charge of a compulsory education in primary school which is for six years, and also three years of junior secondary school.
The Act expects UBEC to implement free and compulsory education, mitigate as much as possible against school dropout and direct specific intervention programmes to some institutions. Similar intervention for the senior secondary and the tertiary institutions are handled by the Education Trust Fund (ETF).
Most parts of the mandate have remained unfulfilled for years and the UBEC has blamed the states government for defaulting in their counterpart obligations.
Wike said part of the Jonathan’s administration’s focus is to extend the coverage for the UBEC up to the senior secondary since the ETF has recently been amended to restrict its programmes to the higher institutions.
“Education at secondary school level especially the federal government secondary schools has become a shadow of itself,” he said. “We ask the House to give support to President Goodluck Jonathan’s transformation agenda particularly as it related to the education sector.”
The amendment is to be introduced soon and Tambuwal has assured of a speedy treatment of the bill. “We in the House of Representatives are ready to give the executive arm of government the highest level of co-operation with regards to all development issues particularly that of education,” he said.
“Education is too critical to be ignored. It is an issue we can give all we have for because it is the most crucial factor in our development drive. All the Bills that are meant to effect necessary positive changes in the education sector will be given accelerated consideration in the House of Representatives.”
-By Bennie Iferi
Get more trends like this
Subscribe to our mailing list and get latest Nigeria trends in your inbox.