Kwara decries low turnout at health facilities, commences statewide advocacy

Map of Kwara

The Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) has disclosed that it supported Kwara and other states of the federation with N70million each for the implementation of e-learning initiative during the closure of schools occasioned by COVID-19 pandemic.

Speaking in an interview with journalists during the weekend in Abuja, the Executive Secretary of commission, Dr Hamid Bobboyi said the pandemic exposed the underlying weakness in the Nigeria educational system.

He said it was unfortunate that the country was lagging behind in deployment of technology for teaching and learning, stressing that while some countries of the world fell back on e-learning during the pandemic because of availability of computers within schools and other digital platforms, noting that exploring this was a huge challenge in Nigeria.

The Federal Government through the Ministry of Education with collaboration from the international development partners had launched an e-learning portal to facilitate teaching and learning at homes during the lockdown.

Bobboyi said open education resources were also made available by some development partners in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Education and UBEC.

He lamented that only two states, Lagos and Edo were able to explore the e-learning platforms provided by the government during, while some other states resorted to radio and television to deliver lessons to the students and pupils.

He said, “A lot of the radio stations were owned by the state governments, so it was easy for them to link up quickly with them to mount some lessons during the COVID-19 lockdown.

“Yes, almost all the states have radio and television stations but the issue now becomes how to generate content that would be relevant to various classes and learners within a particular school system. When we discussed with them to reprioritize, because for UBEC, we can’t produce new money; every Kobo is in an envelope.

“We have to ask them to reprioritize, there is the Teacher Professional Development Fund, funds for water and sanitation, tell us how much you need to use for that particular purpose. At the end of the day, there was a consensus that they needed about N70 million, which we asked them to go ahead to quickly do that. This enables them to have necessary resources to implement the online learning programmes and when you calculate it, N70 million multiplied by 37, you have over N2.5 billion.”

Bobboyi added that COVID-19 raised issues that were very fundamental to the nation’s educational system, saying the issue of how to build digital technology in schools remains critical.

According to him, apart from the absence of stable electricity, computers and other gadgets, he said the digital literacy required by teachers to ensure the teaching and learning was going was also a major challenge.

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