Out Of School Challenge : UBEC Adopts Open School Initiative

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The Universal Basic Education Commission UBEC, says it is set to adopt Open Schooling Programme to end Out Of School OOSC, Challenge in Nigeria.

The Executive Secretary of the Commission ,Dr Hamid Bobboyi ,said during a meeting of stakeholders and committee on Open school learning in Abuja , that there are plans to begin Pilot project of the Programme in about five States of the country.

He mentioned that Nigeria is in hurry to address the problem of Out of School following the growing population of the country which according to him will be the third most populous country in the world by Year 2050.

Bobboyi emphasized the need for cooperation among all education agencies directly involved in basic education ,saying the issue of OOSC will become history in a short time  if all the agencies work together.

According to him, “only collective approach will give the success required in making out of school children issue history in Nigeria”

“As the educational challenges are increasing you look for the best strategies to address these challenges“The Ubec ES added.

The UBEC Executive Secretary noted that issues affecting basic education in Nigeria have been reducing in the last few years but that more intervention have to keep happening across the areas hence the need to mobilised the entire basic education community to consider other strategies.

Also the issue of access and paucity of classrooms ,in many places you have huge deficit of this for this reasons we thought we needed to explore the kind of strategies that can help us meet the needs of Nigerian children wherever they are for what ever reasons that  they are not going to schools.

“We have had programmes on Girl child education, boys education even the 611m dollars global partnership on education supported by the World Bank ,all interventions should be harnessed and then we work together to push out Oosc in Nigeria ,we must find ways to address this challenge”

I am confident that with the cooperation of all stakeholders oosc is what we can put behind us what we can

Bobboyi emphasized the need for different level of strategies to enable communities in Nigeria to be interested in education.

Speaking on the Innovation of open schooling ,Dr Bobboyi said the Programme worked in so many parts of the world as it would widen and broaden opportunities.

“those children who have to go to farms and those that are herders that in the morning they have to look after their cattle,by the time they return they also have facilities that can support them .

It is this Open school learning that the Commonwealth of learning in Canada have been piloting in different other countries” he added

The UBEC ES pointed the challenge that only few teachers  stay in rural areas when deployed there,” alot of rural schools don’t even have teachers that are qualified. So part of what we want to do is to have few teachers that we can train on this programme and they will then pilot the system and ensure that the kind of learning resources.

The whole idea is to ensure that we provide more opportunities to our children wherever they are whether they are in the rural areas or urban centres wherever they need the use of the kind of this resources.Bobboyi added.

The Representative of National Commission for Nomadic Education NCNE , said in the  statistics of OOSC figure in Nigeria , nomadic children have a good number of them .

He pledged the commitment of NCNE to collaborate with UBEC to ensure that the initiative succeed.

The Executive Secretary of the National Commission for Mass Literacy and Education , Prof Abba Haladu ,disclosed that 38 percent of Nigerians are not literate .

“over 60million out of Nigeria’s population are not in school , for people to be literate more opportunities should be created for them “. Prof Haladu said.

Registrar of the Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria , Prof. Josiah Ajiboye expressed readiness of the council to collaborate with UBEC on the initiative.

“Issue of teacher training is critical to aid open schooling .We want to declare that we are committed to this program.

The Commonwealth of learning expert & project instructor ,Tony Mays said Open school learning is creating opportunity for Children and youths who have not been to school to access alternative ways of schooling without being tied to the four walls of classroom.

“A device has been developed to allow people have access to learning resources without internet.”

Meanwhile he stated that the Commonwealth of learning is bearing the cost of training , curriculum development and sorts. (VON)

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