The Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Basic Education, Prof. Julius Ihonvbere has asserted his commitment to championing the amendment of the Universal Basic Education (UBE) Act 2004 as a matter of urgent national priority.
He professed his commitment to free, safe and gender-responsive basic education by signing the Legislative Declaration on COVID-19 and Girls’ Education during a recent meeting with a delegation of the #AmendUBEAct Coalition at the National Assembly Complex, Abuja. Invictus Africa, Malala Fund, PLAN International Nigeria, Save the Children and YouthHubAfrica represented the coalition at the meeting.
Prof. Julius Ihonvbere said, “I am committed to Basic Education sector reform and glad to sign this declaration. I am an academician and the Chair of the House Committee on Basic Education. I focus my entire constituency allowance on basic school renovations and furniture because if I do not make an impact on Basic Education, what else can I do?”
According to the Executive Director, Invictus Africa, Bukky Shonibare, “Statistics already show that while we may be making progress with school enrolments, the higher the class, the lower the number of girls. This means, school enrollment is increasing, but school retention is decreasing. Hence, this #AmendUBEAct advocacy and process will help us have holistic and long-term gains in girl-child education while closing the educational inequality gap.”
While speaking, Crystal Ikanih-Musa, Malala Fund’s In-country representative said, “We are facing a new and difficult economic reality. I implore you to remember that amending the Universal Basic Education Act (2004) to cover up to senior secondary school, and ensuring adequate funding — increasing UBE fund from 2% to 3% CRF — is critical to Nigeria’s education plan for Recovery and Resilience to build back better in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“The signing of the legislative declaration by the Chairman House Committee on Basic Education is a big win for the process of reforming Universal Basic Education in Nigeria.
We are committed to supporting your drive for improved quality basic education for Nigerian children, especially the girl-child. The more the quality of basic education is improved and children have unlimited access to free, safe and uninterrupted learning opportunities, the better they will live up to their dreams and potentials,” said Badar Musa, Advocacy, Campaign and Policy Manager-LEARN, Save the Children International, Nigeria.
The #AmendUBEAct coalition is a group of development partners, international and local organisations supporting the process to strengthen the legal framework for free, safe and quality basic education in Nigeria.