The Secretary General Ebira Youth Peace/Educational Development Initiative, Comrade Adabara Abduljelil El-Okene, has said that El-Okene alleged that 79 per cent of English Language, Mathematics and other textbooks meant for distribution to public basic schools within Kogi state have been diverted.
Speaking with newsmen over the weekend, El-Okene said state government should institute a probe to unravel why the Universal Basic Education Commission
(UBEC) instructional materials meant for public schools was diverted to textbooks stationary outlets.
El-Okene alleged that about 79 per cent of English Language, Mathematics and other textbooks meant for distribution to public basic schools within the state did not get to the beneficiary schools.
“Billions of Naira has been spent by government through UBEC to supply free textbooks to schools in the last couple of years.
“Even though the books are recorded to have been dispatched to the schools, they got missing between the distribution depots and the schools.
“It is obvious that the books were diverted and sold to some stationary shops and private school proprietors because they are hot commodity for the private schools,” he said.
Alarmed by the situation, Abduljelil said his group is planning to present a report of the survey it conducted in 2018 to the Educational Secretary in Okene, Okehi, Ajaokuta and Adavi local education boards for study and necessary action.
The survey, he said, was to track the distribution of educational materials to schools, especially at the basic school level, and it revealed inconsistencies in the distribution and receipt of government textbooks, especially English and Science textbooks.
He said the survey targeted 160 selected deprived schools in Okene, Okehi, Ajaokuta, Ogori/Magongo and Adavi, and assessed the flow and utilization of educational resources such as teachers’ textbooks and teaching and learning materials of the basic school level.
“This tracking exercise was necessitated by the apparent lack of correlation between the quality of education investments and educational output,” he said.
He added that it pupils perform well in their academics in only one public school headed by one Mr AbdulMalik Abdullahi of Standard Primary, Onyukoko.
Comrade Abduljelil said the survey indicated that analysis of textbook supplies and receipts had been complicated by the poor record-keeping culture in some LG education offices.
“The study emphasized the need for the institution of a proper education materials tracking system to monitor the distribution of textbooks, desks and other education materials,” he pointed out.
Comrade Abduljelil cited an instance where in a school, the textbooks in boxes were kept in the room of the head teacher because the school had no store to keep them.
“What is even worrying is that in some of the schools, the head teachers take delivery of the consignment without acknowledging receipt.
“They do not sign any supporting document to show the quantities of the textbooks supplied to the school,” he said.
According to him, results of the survey also depicted a poor state of furniture situation in the deprived schools; where pupils had to carry stools and desks from their homes to sit on in school.
Comrade Abduljelil said in some cases, it was observed that in the absence of the desks, benches had been provided for pupils whilst they used their laps as tables.
He lamented the plight of pupils sitting on the bare floor for classes, saying this situation was common, especially in the kindergarten.