JAMB’s success story legendry, subject of global citations – Osinbajo

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  • Lauds UBEC’s re-engineering process

ABUJA/ For quality service delivery and uncommon schedule of bureaucratic accomplishments laced with probity and accountability, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has complimented the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), emphasizing the imperative to give kudos to whom it is due.

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Prof. Osinbajo stated this in a speech presented at a two-day Nigeria’s Annual Education Conference 2020 held at Fraser Hotel, Abuja, between the 10th and 11th November, 2020.

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Osinbajo said, “The success story of JAMB in the realisation of the mandate given to it is now legendary and a subject of several global citations. JAMB has set, at least, two gold standards – one for administrating public institutions and the other for public accountability.”

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Osinbajo, who also spoke on other agencies, added, “At the basic education level, the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), the interventionist agency has made tremendous impacts in the various States of the Federation as the machinery to release counterpart funds and monitor same has been strengthened for greater accountability. Further to this, the present administration has disbursed N32.5b in matching grants to 22 states and the FCT. Out of this amount, N8.7b has been utilised in the construction and rehabilitation of public schools while N15.071b worth of instructional materials has been procured for the teaching of core subjects for basic education and science equipment for JSS.”

He continued, “Today, there have been significant improvements in the performance of UBEC in its mandate compared to what obtained in 2016, chief of which was the significant improvement in the provision of facilities for the delivery of basic education by way of new and refurbished classrooms and school supplies. The new focus on teacher professional development by UBEC is heartwarming and a credit to the Buhari-led Administration,” stressing that so far, N2.797b has been ploughed into the Teachers Professional Development Fund for training of teachers and education managers in the 36 states and FCT.”

The Vice President noted that education remains central to the developmental aspirations of any nation and is the best legacy a country could give its citizens so as to effectively drive economic progress, sustainable development and lasting peace.

He pointed out that the nation’s education system must be effective, resilient and sustainable as well as capable of preparing her children for the responsibilities of citizenship and national development. He said, “A good educational system must prepare Nigerian youths to be self-reliant so as to take competitive advantage of the latest innovations in the technological sphere. As such, the theme of the conference is a true reflection of the state of our educational system in recent times”.

To underscore the zeal of the Federal Government to drive out hunger, Prof. Osinbajo revealed that President Muhammadu Buhari had announced an expansion of the initial number of households that would benefit from the direct distribution of food and cash from 2.6 million to 3.6 million households whom he described as the most vulnerable in the society. He, therefore, directed the Ministries of Industry, Trade and Investment, Communication and Digital Economy, Science and Technology, Transportation, Interior, Health, Works and Housing, Labour and Employment, Education, to jointly develop a comprehensive policy for a Nigerian economy functioning optimally within the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He added that more than ever before, the present administration, through the Federal Ministry of Education, had come up with a battle plan encoded in the 2018- 2022 Ministerial Strategic Plan designed to propel the education sector to the next century. In this regard, the Vice President noted pleasantly that access to quality higher education had increased tremendously, observing that, “Today, from all indications, the Nigerian University system has gained 12 percentage points since 2016 and with the launch of the 2019-2023 Revitilisation Plan, the Nigerian University System will experience an even faster growth rate.”

Prof. Osinbajo, however, lamented the collateral damage done to the sector by the Coronavirus pandemic and said, “The emergence of the COVID-19 Pandemic has, no doubt, adversely affected the education sector and the economy at both the national and global levels as schools and businesses have been forced to shut down. Perhaps, one of the lessons learnt from the ravages of the pandemic is that the Nigerian education system should henceforth be driven by innovative educational technology for both learning and teaching if our children are to be globally competitive.”

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