UBEC ranks Southeast states low
The five Southeast states are not doing well in the implementation of the nine-year Universal Basic Education (UBE) scheme, says Director of Quality Assurance, Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), Abuja, Dr Chukwuma Agomoh.
Charging the governors of Anambra, Abia, Enugu, Imo and Ebonyi to revamp their education systems, at the Southeast Education Summit held at the Concorde Hotel, Owerri, Agomoh counselled them to learn from Rivers State which topped the UBEC good performance ranking for 2010/2011.
Rivers beat Katsina and Adamawa states as the Best Performing State in the implementation of UBEC programmes in the country.
In contrast, Agomoh said the Southeast states were nowhere to be found on the UBEC rankings ? with two of them, Ebonyi and Imo at the bottom. Imo came 36th, Ebonyi came 37th among the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
He said this was happening because the Southeast governments did not implement the budget properly.
?The Southeastern states are nowhere to be found in the UBEC rankings, both in the good performance and teacher training. The Southeast governors should rise to the challenge of taking education serious in the geo-political zone by increasing the budget in education. Most commissioners for education in the Southeast do not implement the amount they budget to education,? he said.
Dr Agomoh, however, praised the Rivers State government for its investment in the education sector.
He said UBEC has launched a campaign to boost boy-child enrolment in the east, while the girl child campaign is on-going in the North.
Former Minister for Information and Communications, Prof Dora Akunyili in her address delivered by her husband, Dr Chike Akunyili, lamented the dearth of infrastructure in southeast schools, and decried the high rate of male dropout in the region which she attributed to the get-rich syndrome among the youth.
Dr Akunyili noted that the region cannot make any progress until they start honouring people who have made great contributions to educational development.
In a paper titled: ?Funding, a Vital Tool for Educational Development in the Southeast Geo-Political Region,? the Rivers State Commissioner for Education, Dame Alice Lawrence-Nemi, noted that the much needed transformation of the education sector can only be achieved through adequate funding.
The Commissioner, represented by the Director Higher Education, Mae Solomon, said: ?Education is the only channel we can use to transform the Southeast geo-political zone. Through the provision of qualitative and sound education, the zone can take back its true position in the country. We can recall that graduates from this region dominated the major positions in the civil service, corporate organisations and the military in the 60s because of the zeal of the youths to get educated.?
Meanwhile the Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission, NUC, Prof Julius Okojie represented by Prof Akaneren Essien, said the commission is always ready to contribute to the education advancement in the Southeast zone.
Okojie, said the NUC will continue to keep its doors open to state universities in the region and promised to organise interactive forum for university proprietors (the state governors).