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Bill to increase UBEC funding to 4% passes second reading

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A bill for the amendment of the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) Act to increase its funding from the consolidated revenue from 2 per cent to 4 per cent has passed the second reading in the House Representatives.

Chairman House Committee on Basic Education and Services, Honourable Bako Useni, made this known on Thursday during the committee oversight function at the Digital Resource Center built by UBEC in Abuja.

UBEC’s Digital Resource Centre is to provide quality digital educational content for schools across the country as well as contemporary capacity building to relevant actors in the Nigerian education sector that will lead to the delivery of high quality basic education services in Nigeria.

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The Centre has a particular focus on providing digital content and e-Resources for the UBEC model smart schools and e-learning centers across the Federation as well as basic education.

Useni said the 10th Assembly, saw the need to increase financial resources to the Basic education sub-sector for set objectives to be further met, hence the amendment bill sponsored by Honourable Muktar Shagaya to increase revenue accruing to  UBEC from 2% to 4%.

“The amendment bill which passed the second reading Yesterday (Wednesday) when concluded will make UBEC stronger.

“Since UBEC was established in 2004 to date, a lot has been achieved. However, the House felt that if UBEC is motivated with more funding, it will go a long way in achieving more of what it has achieved.

“It was on this basis that one of us, Honourable Mukhtar Shagaya proposed an amendment to the UBEC Act to increase funding to UBEC from 2% to 4%/from the consolidated revenue fund.

He said the committee was delighted with what they saw at the digital resource center built by the UBEC, as it has always been the desire of the committee to ensure that newer dimensions are introduced to the basic education sector in Nigeria.

“It is going to bring a new approach to basic education in Nigeria. It is going to improve teachers’ training and content,” he said

According to him, the committee would ensure continuous oversight function for the sustainability of the Digital Resource Centre like all others under its mandate.

“We have also assured the center of our collaboration and support through budget allocations and oversight functions to make sure that whatever funds that are provided are used for the betterment of Nigerians.

“We will continue to visit to monitor the kind of training that is being given to our teachers and other resource persons because it is a center for Nigeria to develop its education sector.

Executive Secretary of the UBEC, Dr Hamid Bobboyi said the centre was  effort to move digital education in Nigeria to the next level, stressing that it was gladdening to have taken the House Committee members on a tour of the facilities of the center, which includes: the digital Museum, Library, Artificial Intelligence Center, the Studio, Micro-labs, lecture halls, accommodation among others.

“It is fruitful to bring the Honourable members to come and see what UBEC is doing in the area of digital education in the Basic education sub-sector of the country.

“The facility will ensure that our teachers are trained on the new pedagogy. We have brought in many teachers, school administrators, and quality assurance officers.

For them to understand what is digital.  learning and also to prepare them to be real participants and not just copycats in the class, where they can develop their digital resources and also take advantage of digital resources already on the ground.

“This is an experiment that we have started and believe that it will be a game changer in our basic education sub-sector,” he said.

He said the digital resource center will coordinate the Smart schools spread across the country to aid digital learning in the nation adding that it will also be used to reshape those in the senior/management cadre of the basic education sub-sector.

The National Coordinator of the Digital Resource Centre, Professor Bashir Galandanci said the Digital Resource Center is part of the effort of the commission to transform the agency into a digital era.

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