The Federal Government says it has released more than N138 billion in the last three years as matching grant to strengthen basic education system in the country.
Mallam Adamu Adamu, the Minister of Education, said this during the launch of the National Personnel Audit of basic education institutions in Abuja on Monday.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the audit will cover all pupils, students and personnel in both public and private basic education institutions in Nigeria.
Adamu said the funds, managed by the Universal Basic Education Commission, were accessed by states and the Federal Capital Territory that also paid their counterpart contributions.
He explained that the personnel audit was in line with the provisions of the Universal Basic Education Act 2004, “to help establish reliable education data for planning.
He said: “It is important to note that since its establishment in 1999, the commission has successfully conducted two national personnel audit in the country in 2006 and 2010 respectively focused only on public schools.”
The minister said the audit would also establish strong foundation for sound management information system in the basic education sector.
He added it would strengthen the current National Educational Management Information System which serves as a key pillar of the nation’s educational planning process.
Earlier, Dr Hamid Bobboyi, Executive Secretary, Universal Basic Education Commission said lack of data was a major setback in the education sector.
He however said that the audit would help to create a comprehensive and reliable basic education data bank in Nigeria.
He noted that the exercise had no connection with auditing financial accounts of schools.
Bobboyi listed some specific objectives of the personnel audit to include obtaining reliable data of children of school going age enrolled in basic education schools.
Other objectives include obtaining the number and qualification of teaching and non-teaching staff including their personal information and progression in service.
He said the exercise would also provide authentic school mapping of all basic education schools in the country as well as address the challenges of inadequate education data.
The Minister of FCT, Mallam Muhammad Bello, assured that the FCT administration would support the commission to ensure smooth conduct of the exercise.
Similarly, Halilu Ahmed of the National Space Research and Development Agency described the exercise as a quantum leap because of the use of digital technology where information on basic education could be accessed with a click of the button.
He said that the database was designed to be updated on regular basis in such a way to accommodate newly established schools or new infrastructure.
Also, Dr Mahmud Abubakar, Chairman, Governing Board of UBEC, said the role of NASRDA was important to the effective conduct of the exercise.
He said that at the end of the exercise, a virile and responsive Geographic Information System would be developed to help in planning, monitoring and evaluation of the sub sector.
Abdulahi Salifu, Regional Director, UNESCO, congratulated UBEC for taking the lead, saying that the audit would help ascertain the quality and quantity of teaching and non-teaching staff.
He added that it would also give more information on what needed to be done and improved upon in the system, and identify the number of out-of-school children in the country.