Lagos State government has been implored to lay more emphasis on the monitoring and implementation of intervention programmes meant to improve basic education, decrying the poor utilisation of funds dedicated for Universal Basic Education (UBE) projects in Lagos, considering the overall huge cost burden on government and tax payers.
A total of N4.65b was allocated for UBE action plan for 2016 and 2017. While N2.08b was allocated for 2016, N2.57b was allocated for 156 schools in 2017. A further breakdown of the allocation shows that the projects were broken into four critical areas, which are 5,529 perimeter fencing, 3448 furniture to be supplied to schools, 35 constructions (classrooms) and rehabilitation of five schools.
Stakeholders comprising Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), School-Based Management Committees (SBMC), Parents Forum (PF), and some independent monitors engaged by Human Development Initiatives (HDI), a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) met recently in Lagos to review the report of the monitoring and implementation of years 2016 and 2017 L-SUBEB action plans in nine local governments of Lagos.
The Executive Director, HDI, Olufunso Owasanoye said the essence of the review and stakeholders’ engagement was to ensure proper implementation of UBE funds for better education outcomes in Lagos.
According to her, the main reason for monitoring UBE projects is to ensure all school-aged children in Lagos State receive quality basic education. However, she noted that despite the huge amount spent on basic education in Lagos, there is little to show for it.
The independent monitors reviewed L-SUBEB funded projects in Ajeromi-Ifelodun, Ojo, Amuwo-Odofin, Agege, Apapa, Surulere, Kosofe, Ibeju-Lekki, and Mushin.
The monitors narrated the poor implementation of some on-going projects in their local government areas, while some awarded projects like furniture were not supplied, based on the recommendation in the action plan.
Findings revealed that some of the infrastructure projects executed lacked proper maintenance culture, while some classes were over populated, some schools do not have perimeter fence, thereby exposing pupils to danger.
Programme officer, HDI, Johnson Ibidapo said the stakeholders’ dialogue was to track and monitor funding of basic education projects in Lagos. “We have got the commitment and buy-in of many civil society organisations, as regards working towards qualitative basic education, since our goal is ensuring that basic education goods and services get delivered to schools in the right quality and quantity.”