Last held in 2011, Nigeria to conduct assessment of its basic schools

Photo credit: African Examiner
Photo credit: African Examiner

Worried by the perceived low quality of basic education in the country, the Nigerian government said it has commenced a national assessment of teaching and learning quality in that sub-sector.

The assessment will hold between November 22 and 24.

The Executive Secretary of the Universal Basic Education Commission, UBEC, Hamid Bobboyi, said this on Monday in Abuja while briefing journalists. He said the exercise was part of the commitment of the current administration to reposition basic education in the country.

He said the poor quality of teachers in basic education in the country is due to poor remuneration of teachers by state governments.

He said the recent incident in Kaduna “where a lot of teachers failed simple tests administered to them was a clear indication of the crisis and rot in the basic education sub-sector.

“The neglect of basic education over the years is responsible for the crises that have continued to plague the nation including the Boko Haram insurgency in the North-east”, he said.

“Boko Haram is an example. Boko Haram emerged out of this particular situation where schooling was a problem, learning was a problem in the North,” he said.

Mr. Bobboyi said UBEC is committing N3 billion to resuscitate the ”rudiments of teaching and learning in Northern Nigeria.”

He said the learning assessment last conducted in 2011 adding that the current one would enable the government gauge the state of basic education and proffer solutions.

Mr. Bobboyi said the assessment will enable ”the tracking of standards of education at the basic schools.”

“We have to know exactly which state is doing well in basic education and to know where basic education is functioning better. We also want to know why basic education is really having problems and to ensure that responses of intervention agency such as UBEC is tailor made to bring everyone on board”, he said.

He said the assessment of learners’ achievement is crucial to the implementation of the basic education programme.

“The exercise exposes learners’ performance in curricula delivery and impact of intervening variables”, the Executive Secretary explained.

He also spoke on the specifics of the intended exercise.

“For the primary level, the Local Government Education Authorities in each of the 36 states and the FCT were stratified on the basis of location. Simple random sampling was used to select six LGEAs in the urban and rural locations”, he said.

“The exercise will involve head teachers and teachers of selected primary 5 and 6 classes. The sample will consist of 216 LGEAs, 1080 primary schools, 1080 head teachers, 2160 teachers and 43,200 pupils.

“In the junior secondary school level, 17,280 students and 12,960 parents would participate. 432 principals and 1728 teachers of English, Mathematics, Basic Science and Technology and Social Studies teachers will be selected to participate in the study”, Mr. Bobboyi added.

On the sustainability of the assessment, the UBEC boss said Nigeria will maintain international standard of conducting the exercise every 2 years.


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  • thusspokez

    He said the exercise was part of the commitment of the current administration to reposition basic education in the country.

    Most Nigerians lack essential thinking skills — as we often see on Internet forums, and utterances by Nigerian leaders –; and that is because cramming and rote learning is promoted over critical thinking and meaningful learning in Nigerian schools.

    Repositioning education in Nigeria would involve discouraging rote learning and instead, promoting critical thinking and philosophy. The brain is more suited to thinking than as storage because it is made for thinking and not for storage . Information technology has made this even clearer.

    In the old days we would store information in our memories; today, these are stored electronically e.g., mobile phones, computers, and retrieved in seconds. The modern human role in the processing of the information is in analysing the data and making sense of it. And to be able to effectively play this role would require humans to have good critical thinking stills — which is where most Nigerians are found wanting.

    I also think that there should be a national education standard body for quality management and quality assurance in schools. Each school may then apply for certification and present itself for auditing against a set of practices and procedures to determine the school’s applications for certification.