The following report by Demas Shinggu Project Officer was sent to me by Kelechi Micheals.
Kelechi is the Programme Operations Manager at Fantsuam Foundation and is a core member of the UK-Nigeria Team who hold weekly online meetings.
" Years of neglect have left Nigeria with poor quality public education. Many schools fail to provide even basic opportunities for learning. School buildings and facilities are inadequate. Teaching standards are low. Teachers receive inadequate training and have little motivation to improve. Management of education is weak and often ineffective, inefficient and top heavy. There is a desire for reform, but policies and plans are not implemented effectively.
Reforms that ESSPIN is supporting are vitally important because the current dire state of education means that children fail to acquire even the fundamental skills and knowledge that they need to lead productive lives as individuals and citizens.
For schools to be transformed into dynamic learning environments many things need to happen simultaneously. Lasting transformation comes from changing behaviour- changing how people do things- but getting people to change how they do things is not easy.
Schools are at the heart of ESSPIN because they provide the environment in which children learn. Working with schools is only part of the ESSPIN approach. Communities, civil society, the media and politicians are also vitally important in setting educational standards and fuelling demands for quality education.
ESSPIN supports these groups, for example, by helping School-Based Management Committees (SBMC) make educational administrators and schools accountable.
SBMCs encourage community participation and boost demand for quality education services. They represent community interest. The focus is on helping these groups to develop skills in monitoring progress with a view to enabling them eventually to play a part in school governance. The overall idea is for community to make demand for better services 'voice' and accountability.
Roles and responsibilities of SBMCs:
- Monitor Teachers attendance to school and classes
- Advise the school authority on teachers' behaviour, and commitment to work
- Engage in awareness raising and advocacy
- Monitor school infrastructure projects
- Encourage parents to enroll, retain and complete their children's education;especially girls
- Monitor pupil/student performance
- Assist schools to ensure security of facilities and structures
- Participate in school development planning
- Recommend for the establishment of new schools
- Ten (10) out-of-school pupils returned to school at LGEA Maidamishi
- A 38 year old female SBMC member of LGEA Bahago enrolled in primary five (5)
- One (1) male Pupil With Disability enrolled in primary One (1) at LGEA Bahago
- SBMCs bought uniform, books and paid school fees for a pupil to further his education
- Increased pupil enrolment at LGEA Kwaturu and LGEA Yelwa
- Women participation is high
- About 75% of SBMCs provided tables, chairs, bought plastic buckets and cups for water, and did minor repairs on windows and doors in their respective schools. Others include provision of first aid box, repaired leaking roofs. The SBMC in one of the schools have completed a block of classroom and about 30% have started building classrooms
- UBE Kurmin Mata Kasa got 40 exercise books for 8 pupils that are orphaned
- LGEA Kabode dug a pit toilet and raised over N110,000 which they used to hire a grader to work on the feeder road leading to their village to make access to the community easy for teachers
This was a testimony of a child from Kurmin Mata LGEA primary school.
“I do not know that I can read before completing primary, but since last year many of us in class five can now read and write"