Written by Godfrey AKON

Diverted school books unravel role confusion in SUBEBs, Ministries

State Universal Basic Education Boards, SUBEBs, and their State Ministries of Education are locked in a supervisory logjam over who oversees Junior Secondary Schools.

The confusion came to light after the disappearance of textbooks and instructional materials meant for the institutions and are now openly sold in the markets.

Several SUBEB Chairmen, who spoke in their defence at the 14th Quarterly Meeting of the Universal Basic Education Commission, UBEC, with Executive Chairmen of State SUBEBs in Abuja, said their organisations were not in charge of the textbooks.

According to the Kano SUBEB Chairman, Mr. Zakari Ibrahim, who confirmed that textbooks meant for junior secondary schools in the state were diverted and openly sold at Sabongari Market, the issue of diverted books was only brought to his knowledge by the Department of State Security, DSS.

Ibrahim said he could not do anything much as the textbook distribution to Junior Secondary Schools did not fall under the purview of the state universal basic education.

He explained that when he was contacted for the textbooks by UBEC, the Kano state ministry of education assigned a director of secondary education to collect the books, adding that SUBEB had no hands in the collection.

In Benue state, there is however a total lack of communication between the ministry and SUBEB in the running of the schools and distribution of instructional material as alleged by the state SUBEB chairman.

The situation is worsened by the fact that curriculum materials meant for junior secondary schools find their way into private schools while the public schools suffer lack.

In his remarks, the chairman of Borno State SUBEB, Mallam Shetimma Buakar, noted that the instructional materials supplied to his state were not consistent with the school curriculum, even as they were inadequate to go round.

In Kaduna state, where there were also reported cases of diverted instructional materials, SUBEB officials from the stat noted that Junior Secondary Schools were under the purview of the ministry and everything having to do with them was approved by the ministry

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