Before and after the advent of COVID, the global pandemic in 2020, that had a collosal damages on basic education occasioned by lockdown and closure of public schools, the Universal Basic Education Commission UBEC had explored avenues towards not only sustaining these arm of education, but improving it to meeting the present realities.
In that regard, the leadership under Dr Hamid Bobboyi as the Executive Secretary and Chief Executive officer had worked round the clock not only to advance the conventional practice, but create an enabling environment to introduce and Inculcate new areas of acquainting knowledge using modest approach and requirements.
Having achieved normalcy to the return of learning into the basic schools post COVID-19, the commission was proactive through engagements of both local and international bodies to collaborate in the development of e- learning and smart education to forestall any unforseen circumstances in the nearest future.
This was different from a special task force and arrangements to establish smart schools to promote e -learning across the six geopolitical zones and the country at large, so as to nip in the bud future reoccurrence and circumstances.
With the current leadership roles under Hamid Bobboyi in realizing the efficacy and efficiency of deploying multimedia and equipment into the establishment of smart schools through e- learning across the country, the pro-activeness was exposed to both local and international supports that will not only to keep our basic schools in perpetual lock and key, but address the growing out of school children OOSC scourge and conform with the best practices as obtainable in developing and developed nations.
This led to the commitment of billions into the project soon after COVID and it’s attendant consequences to avoid spill over to other laudable programs of the commission.
With post COVID-19 cases and migration to Delta variant, the commission embarked on collaborations with National Information and Technology Development Agency NITDA , charged with training of both manpower and students of basic education in modest and technological innovations, as well as the anti corruption agencies, the ICPC and the EFCC to ensure transparency and accountability in all ramifications of it’s new area and assignments.
The commission established an initial 37 Model schools 1, 11 smart schools across the country with consideration to federal character, as it located one each of Model 1 in the six geopolitical zones and the FCT to serve the pupils.
UBEC also gave consideration to 30 Model 11 schools in other states of the country, other than those that fell into the location of the six geopolitical zones for Model 1 to ensure equity, transparency and accountability in the course of it’s mandate .
The Model smart schools already in the offing was not only meant to address e- learning, but resolve out of school children OOSC, among many other variables militating against basic education consisting of primary and post primary education in Nigeria.
With the unique strides and major breakthrough been achieved by the current management under Bobboyi, it had attracted both local and foreign interventions including the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), through a memorandum of understanding MOU running into $10.41M grant to support and boost technology driven basic education in the country.
KOICA, a well known Korea intervention agency was known to be a body charged with encouraging highly coordinated and reliable agencies in countries to support skill development and enterpreneurial advancement, education, small scale businesses and capacity building across the world.
The choice of Universal Basic Education Commission UBEC in Nigeria for supports and collaborations through a Memorandum of Understanding MOU was an indicator of modest approach and robust handling by the leadership of the commission in recent times.
With KOICA collaborations and intervention, it will not open a chapter of more investments in basic education both locally and internationally going forward under the current management in UBEC.
With this strides, no doubt an improvement within the shortest possible time through the deployment of multimedia equipment will reduce to the barest minimum the continuous apathy and natural disasters affecting basic education in Nigeria.
Yusuf Writes from Abuja and can be reached on [email protected].