The Human Development Initiative, HDI, has warned that Nigeria is seating on a time bomb with over 13.2Million out of school children if stakeholders do not take up the responsibilities of owning Universal Basic Education intervention projects.
Represented by the Project Officer, Mr Johnson Ibidapo at one day sensitization programme for stakeholders on Universal Basic Education Intervention Projects in Lagos State, HDI said education for all is the responsibility of all. He added that stakeholders must own every project in their communities saying, if it is monitored properly, it would be to their own benefits and if otherwise, the shortcomings will still fall back to them and affect their children.
The sensitization programme held at St Agnes Nursey and Primary School, Maryland Complex in Kosofe Local government, according to Ibidapo, engages stakeholders to ensure they take responsibilities of ensuring the delivery of basic education goods and the judicious utilization of basic education funds while also facilitating transparency and accountability in the governance of basic education in their communities.
The programme which is being supported by MacArthur Foundation gave out published handbook on Funding Basic Education in Lagos State to each participants which contains the Lagos SUBEB 2018 Action Plan. This included total fund allocation, intervention projects which was breakdown for every stakeholders to check and confirm if those school projects were implemented in their communities.
“Basically, we want them to be empowered enough, even if tomorrow HDI does not get involved in doing this type of job, they will be able to monitor basic education project and ensure this project are not just delivered in the adequate quality but even in the quantity. In a school where you allocated 90 pieces of furniture, let the school get 90. We want them to be able to hold duty bearers to account, ask questions about what is going wrong”. Ibidapo added.
One of the participants, Alhaji Awofeso, representing the interest of the Civil Society Organisation in the Local Government said HDI was trying to bridge the gap between community and the government policy, saying that their intervention is more or less an investigative job. It is an empowerment for people to check if those projects are there and to also check the standard form for the project. If they are not there.
“We have been empowered by exposing us to the content of the Lagos SUBEB 2018 Action Plan which is currently being implemented and we will now go to our various communities to take ownership of the existing projects and the one that have been approved and are not there because we are now aware that we are stakeholders to the progress of our children and our communities”. Said Awofeso
Stakeholders represented at the sensitization programme include NGOs, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), Community Based Organisations (CBOs), Faith Based Organisation (FBOs), School Based Management Committees (SBMC), Parents Forum, CDC, CDAs, Youth Leaders and the Media.