A non-governmental organisation, The Education Partnership Centre (TEP Centre), has urged state governments to strengthen collaboration with community stakeholders in planning and delivery of universal basic education projects.
The Assistant Programme Manager of TEP Centre, Ms Henshaw Utibe, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) at a two-day Stakeholders Workshop for community volunteers in Lagos on Thursday, that it would ensure effectiveness of quality education.Utibe said there was need for government to continue engaging with volunteers community level stakeholders by breaking the communication barriers among them and the communities.“
It will also enable them to show more commitment to the monitoring of schools projects for quality delivery.“Government should show communities their action plans to make them willingly monitor the project.“They can also advise government on the particular needs of the schools rather than providing unwanted projects.“
If government can involve volunteers community level stakeholders, they will take quick action once they know that the development will be brought to their communities,” she said.Utibe added that infrastructure development was a basic need for education in Lagos, because we have high numbers of out of schools children.“We also have the mandate to maintain the quality of infrastructure for the numbers of children that are in school.“
Some of the communities stakeholders are not even aware of the government’s commitment in providing support for education infrastructure with Lagos State Action plan for education infrastructure,” she said.Utibe said that monitoring of stakeholders was a regular mechanism by tracking government infrastructure projects in their communities.Also, Mr Gbenga Quadri, Programme Officer, TEP Centre, said that the workshop was to promote transparency and accountability in the basic education sector, specifically for the Universal Basic Education (UBE).Quadri said that UBE Fund tracking was a project that support the states Universal Basic Education to monitor UBE infrastructure project being funded by the counterparts fund from the Federal Government.“The action plans include: school building, furniture, borehole, construction, fencing rehabilitation, agricultural facilities, sporting facilities, among others.“
Our aim is to monitor the spending and ensure that corruption is reduced, and also ensure that the project is delivered timely to enable beneficiaries to make use of it on time,” Quadri said.He commended the community volunteers stakeholders for their commitment in ensuring quality infrastructural project in their communities.Commenting, Mr Vincent Adekoya, Projects Director of Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), said that monitoring, evaluation and supervision were key to project implementation.Adekoya appealed to the stakeholders to collaborate with the government for proper checkmating to actualise effective planning and delivery of Universal Basic Education projects in the state.He said that investments should not be based on sentiment, but on the needs of the schools.“
SUBEB has scientific way of vesting in the schools, which will present all the data of the need and operations of the schools before embarking on project,” Adekoya said.One of the community stakeholders from Ikorodu, Mr Oluseyi Adams, urged government to put more fund in the project to enable them to facilitate the monitoring to make government to achieve success in education sector.
In her remarks, Mrs Ruth Odefa, a community stakeholder from Oshodi, also commended the government’s efforts on education and pleading for more infrastructure in schools.Odefa pleaded with the government to rehabilitate the schools, especially Oshodi/Isolo Low Cost Housing Estate Primary School, because “they are experiencing roof leakages during rainy season over five years now”. (NAN)