UBEC Laments 194,876 Teacher Shortage In Public Primary Schools

The Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) has lamented that public primary schools are short of 194,876 teachers out of the 694,078 needed.

This is as the Commission disclosed that it is set to roll out an open schooling programme designed to provide a flexible learning approach in Nigeria.

The Executive Secretary of UBEC, Dr. Hamid Bobboyi, announced this during a meeting with Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) on Effective Schools Programme in Abuja on Tuesday.

Represented by the Deputy Executive Secretary (Service), Prof. Isiaka Kolawole, Bobboyi emphasised that the initiative aims to offer extensive access to basic education for Nigerians.

“UBEC is finalizing arrangements for the Open Schooling Programme in the basic education sub-sector as an accelerated education intervention.

“This programme is intended to provide a flexible learning approach and support those who cannot access traditional UBE settings,” he said.

Bobboyi also called for the support of CSOs to enhance education delivery across the country.

He said despite significant efforts and investments by various stakeholders, including the government, corporate entities, and private individuals, substantial improvements are still needed in the education sector.

“Though much has been invested, and great efforts made by government, corporate and private institutions, and privileged individuals, and despite the various interventions by UBEC, much more still needs to be done towards improving basic education in the country.

“Key issues include the large number of out-of-school children, insufficient teaching and learning infrastructure, outdated UBE enabling Act, gaps in teacher quality and availability, low partnerships for UBE delivery, insecurity, and lack of awareness about the importance of education in rural and underserved communities,” he said.

Speaking on the shortage of teachers in the country, UBEC’s Deputy Executive Secretary (Technical), Prof. Bala Zakari, disclosed that of the 694,078 teachers required at the public primary schools, only 499,202 were available leaving a gap of 194,876.

Zakari who disclosed that the data came from the 2022 personnel audit in the basic education sector, however, stated that the Early Childhood Care, Development and Education (ECCDE) and Junior Secondary Schools appear to have more teachers than required.

Zakari called for a review of the 2004 UBE Act to address these issues and urged state governments to allocate more resources to education.

He also encouraged CSOs to increase advocacy efforts to ensure every Nigerian child has access to education.

Earlier, in his opening remarks, Dr. Osom Osom, Director of Social Mobilisation at UBEC, stated that the event was organised to foster robust interactions and idea-sharing between the Commission and CSOs, with the goal of enhancing basic education delivery.

“This is part of ongoing discussions between UBEC and partners on basic education delivery, to enable us to interact and share experiences,” he said.

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