By; ALEX UANGBAOJE, Kaduna
Following the massive infrastructural deficit in the nation’s education sector, the House of Representatives Committee on Basic Education, on Thursday said it would consider new legislation to increase the funding for the sector.
Mr Istifanus Gyang, representing Barikin Ladi/Riyom Federal Constituency, Plateau State, who led members of the committee stated this in Zaria, after conducting on-the-spot assessment of some schools in the state.
The committee was in Kaduna to assess the state’s access and utilisation of Universal Basic Education Commission intervention grant, as appropriated by the National Assembly.
Gyang said that the committee visited many schools in different parts of the country and came face to face with massive infrastructural deficit, particularly at the basic level.
He added that the Federal Government has to find a way to increase its funding support, particularly to basic education.
“We have been to other states, and now we are concluding our working visit in Kaduna, and the story is the same everywhere; inadequate infrastructure, shortage of teachers.
“Kaduna State for example needs about N93 billion to bridge the infrastructural deficit in basic education alone.
“We have gone round and we have seen some schools where students sit on bare floor because there are no chairs, including secondary schools.
“We have made our recommendations to the state governments and the Universal Basic Education Boards where necessary on what needs to be done and how.
“This is because something must be done to address the challenge of ensuring quality education at basic level, otherwise our children will have no future,”Gyang said.
He said that Kano, Jigawa and Kaduna states have appealed for special grant to enable them meet the infrastructural needs of basic schools in the states, adding that the committee would look into the request.
“We have noted all the challenges affecting basic education in almost every parts of the country and would take necessary legislative processes to see how funding of education sector would be increased, “he added.
He commended the Kaduna State Government for up-to-date access of UBEC grant, payment of teachers salaries, and community engagement in schools development and monitoring.
On his part, the Executive Chairman of the state’s Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Malam Nasir Umar said that the board has noted all the observations made by the committee.
Umar said that the board would liaise with the state ministry of education to make the best use of available resources to improve infrastructure and teachers’ capacity for better teaching and learning.