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Thursday, July 25, 2024

USAID Scale Project: Ebonyi SUBEB Adopts Community Engagement Framework For Improved Basic Education

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From Mba Nnenna- Abakaliki

Stakeholders in basic education in Ebonyi State have adopted a Community Engagement framework to guide activities and operations of the State Universal Basic Education Board.

Under the framework, citizens’ inputs are to be given priority in the determination of work plans, projects implementations and other related activities of the State Universal Basic Education Board.

The framework was developed by the Accountability for Good Governance in Education (AGGE) Cluster, a Civil Society Organizations’ intiative, in collaboration with States Universal Basic Education Board.

It is an outcome of the USAID/Palladium sponsored Strengthening Civic Advocacy and Local Engagement (SCALE) Project in five States in Nigeria, including Ebonyi.

The adoption of the framework followed a two-day validation meeting organized Thursday and Friday by the AGGE in collaboration with SUBEB in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State capital.

In a release confirming the adoption of the framework, endorsed by the Chairman, Ebonyi SUBEB, Chief Hyacinth Ikpor, and read by the Board Secretary, Gabriel Udu, at the meeting, the Board stated that the development has opened wider doors for consultations and incorporation of Community stakeholders for a more effective decision making in implementation of basic education programmes in the State.

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He noted that the era of relying only on community leaders and Education Secretaries of Local Government Education Authorities for information on the educational needs of communities was over, adding that the framework has prescribed the incorporation of larger key stakeholders such as people with disabilities, the Clergy, Old Boys and Girls Associates; Parents/Teachers Associations and School Based Management Committees, among others.

He explained that the Board has also set up a community engagement desk with designated desk officer to manage the demands of the framework.

Ikpor added: “…the collaboration embodies excellent strategies for optimal performance in the delivery of compulsory Basic Education in Ebonyi State.

“The validation and adoption have also become key conditionality in accessing the 50 percent counterpart funding from the Federal government of Nigeria through the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) going forward.

“The Ebonyi SUBEB hereby Declares that the framework is clearly stated, and has therefore been adopted to be utilized moving forward, as a working document.”

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Speaking on the objectives of the framework, the representative of YouthHub Africa, Peter Ogah, stated that it was aimed at applying strategic ways for involving the communities in UBEB budget and work plan, and ensuring that the allocation of SUBEB resources in Ebonyi State is based on the identified priority educational needs of communities in the State.

The Executive Director, Development Integrity and Intervention Goal (DIG) Foundation, Oliver Aja Chima in an opening remark described the validation and adoption meeting as a historic event aimed at ushering further development in the education sector in the State.

Chima explained that the five -member AGGE cluster Organizations have Youthhub Africa as its anchor while his Organization, DIG Foundation is the Ebonyi State coordinator and host of the validation meeting.

Goodwill messages were delivered by other USAID partners in the State, including USAID – State2State; representatives of Ebonyi Civil Society Network, People With Disabilities, among others.

The framework was developed by a consultant and modified during the meeting to meet the peculiar needs of the State before endorsement.

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