The Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) had on May 30, 2019 launched the Open Schooling Programme, an initiative that is expected to increase school enrollment in Nigeria if properly implemented.
Three months after, the agency has taken a further step to collaborate with a world open schooling body that will help see this plan to fruition.
The Basic Education Commission has now signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Commonwealth of Learning, Canada, on the Open Schooling Initiative.
The move is part of strategies put in place to tackle illiteracy and the increasing rate of young children without access to school.
The Memorandum will serve as a guiding document for the programme implementation in Nigeria and help delegate key responsibilities that will facilitate open school system operations.
The executive secretary of UBEC, Hammid Bobboyi, said the open learning approach is the easiest way to overcome illiteracy in the country.
He explained that the agency’s dream is to come to a time when every child has an opportunity to access and receive an education.
‘‘The open schooling system will provide a broader opportunity for Nigerian children, maybe those who will go to open schooling system will be more technologically savvy than those in main stream schools, considering that the process of learning will be facilitated using instrument of technology to teach children.’’
He further called for synergy among stakeholders to mobilise and take responsibly to address the problems of illiteracy among Nigerians.
The President, Common Wealth of Learning, Prof Asher Kawa, who signed the memorandum on behalf of her organisation, said the open schooling system is a brilliant initiative that will implement the concept of not leaving anyone behind.
“Children will only learn what is relevant to them, out of school children will not be learning numeracy or literacy but something useful for their peculiar situations’’.
“A fishing village In Trinidad and Tobago had out-of-school children, we started teaching them how to make nets, fish and how to mend boats and this brought them to school because they could relate with that’’
She said the open schooling system had reduced the cost of schooling, and increased access to a larger number of children needing education.
Meanwhile a 2018 UBEC National Personnel Audit revealed that several interventions have succeeded in reducing the 13.2 million out of school children to 10.1 million.