The Council for Regulation of Engineers in Nigeria (COREN) has begun nationwide monitoring of projects by the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC).
The Executive Secretary of UBEC, Dr. Hamid Bobboyi, stated this on Wednesday in Abuja while declaring open a one-day workshop for COREN inspectors to monitor UBEC/SUBEBS Matching Grant intervention projects in 36 states and FCT.
UBEC signed a memorandum of understanding on March 3 with COREN to monitor UBEC matching grant intervention projects across the 36 states and Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Registrar of COREN, Prof. Adisa Bello, said the council would monitor construction work, renovation, furniture, equipment, works and water supply projects and report appropriately to UBEC management, saying this falls within the Engineering Regulation Monitoring (ERM) mandate of the council.
He warned the inspectors against misconduct, stressing that anyone found wanting during the exercise would be dealt with.
“Any of our inspectors that is found wanting in the course of his or her duty will be adequately sanctioned,” Bello warned.
The UBEC boss said he was worried about the poor learning outcomes in basic education despite huge intervention by the Federal Government.
Bobboyi blamed this on a number of factors, including recruitment of unqualified teachers by some state governments, lack of regular professional training programmes for teachers, and low remuneration, among others.
He was reacting to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) report that Nigeria faced a staggering learning crisis. About 70 per cent of children in schools cannot read and write or perform basic numeracy tasks by age 10.
The UBEC boss said even though the figures bandied were not scientific, the commission was working with UNICEF to have a large-scale assessment of learning achievements in the country, going into the details of the problems and improving learning outcomes in Nigeria.
He said there was a need to invest more in teachers who would teach children at the basic level of education, especially in public schools.
“There is no justification for all the investment if the child in the classroom is not learning,” he said.
The executive secretary disclosed that 50 per cent of allocation to the commission from the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF), as support by the Federal Government for basic education, is disbursed to state governments for the development of infrastructure.
He added that the role of the COREN was to make sure that all buildings in basic public schools have its certification and are well-built enough to add value to Nigerian classrooms.
According to him, the engagement of COREN for monitoring and evaluation of UBEC projects would add value to the efforts being put in place to ensure quality basic education delivery in the country.
President of Nigerian Society of Engineers, Engr. Tasiu Gidari Wudil, noted that infrastructures in schools are very key to the delivery of education, saying the council has, however, discovered that most of the projects were badly done with minimal supervision.