The youngest member of the House of Representatives, Honorable Mansur Soro, has promised to galvanise traditional leaders, civil society groups and the needed support to ensure that the Universal Basic Education Bill is harmonised and passed to the President for assent.
Honourable Soro assured this during a Facebook Live interview with Connected Development’s Chief Executive, Hamzat Lawal, on Building Back Better through the Amendment of the UBE Act, which was held on the International Day of Education.
Honorable Soro who represents the Darazo/Gunjuwa Federal constituency, Bauchi, is sponsoring the Compulsory, Free Universal Basic Education Act (Amendment) Bill in the 9th National Assembly.
The formulation of the bill was borne out of the need for Nigeria to redefine basic education to cover 12 years in line with international best practices.
The House of Representatives member said he will keep pursuing the bill, though the process of legislating laws in Nigeria is very slow.
“The bill has passed second reading and it is now in the committee stage where it will undergo public hearing to enable critical stakeholders in the education sector to provide their input on how best these provisions can be made into law.”
“The proposed UBE bill seeks to amend section 11 (1) of UBE act to increase the FG block grant to UBEC from 2% to 3% – an aggregate of consolidated revenue fund (CRF). This will enable the commission to take on the expanded mandate and address the menace of out-of-school children.”
While responding to the Minister of Education’s announcement of the increased number of child enrolment in schools, and the reduction of the number of out of School Children by 40%, Honourable Soro said the impact of this feat may be difficult to note because of the increasing population of Nigerians.
CODE’s Chief Executive, Hamzat Lawal, noted that there are civil society organizations that are ready to collaborate with the government to ensure that quality of education is improved, and more children are able to access basic education.
He called on the government to be receptive to ideas and action plans that are progressive in this regard.
Recall that CODE and Malala Foundation, had launched a report in December 2020, revealing new data that education of children, girls especially, was hampered by the pandemic, with over 50% of girls receiving no help to continue education during school closures.
The coronavirus pandemic, national lockdowns and school closures underscored the shortcomings of the present legal structure of the UBE Act.