Babagana Zulum, Governor of Borno State, Northeast Nigeria, says the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) has enormous powers that must be reduced for it function as a subordinate body under the Ministry of Education.
Governor Zulum, a professor of irrigation engineering, made this known at the opening of a three-day conference for principals of government secondary schools, organised by the state’s education ministry.
The meeting was convened in line with the state government’s policy of reshaping the state’s education to make it attractive for the youth who have been a major source of recruitment for extreme religious radicalisation.
It is not clear if Governor Zulum has the power to carry out a holistic review of the laws that establish SUBEB, which is an offshoot of an act passed by the National Assembly.
While reeling out some of the problems of education development in Borno State, the Governor, who was a guest of honour at the event, said there is a lack of synergy among the key education regulatory bodies in the state.
He said there is no way the state policy and programs can be implemented to the letter if the three regulatory bodies; the ministry of education, the state SUBEB, and the teaching service board are not in cohesion.
To that effect, Governor Zulum said he was going to review the SUBEB law in such a manner that its power would be shaved off to enable it to fit under the control and regulation of the ministry of education.
“This is because the transition from primary to junior secondary school is very important; likewise the transition from junior secondary school to senior secondary school … If there is synergy amongst the three, education development will be impeded.”
“I, therefore, directed the Borno SSG to examine the power in the Borno SUBEB laws to address them, which is very important.”
The governor expressed appreciation to the chairman of the SUBEB, Dr Shettima Kullima, whose tenure, he announced, will be “ending very soon.”
“But he has done very well. As a human being, he may have some shortcomings, but sincerely in terms of personality and integrity. Through him, Borno State was able to secure a grant of about $60 million as a result of the rating of our performance in the BESDA education program in the state,” he said.
Although SUBEB (Education) falls under the concurrent list in the Nigerian constitution, it still operates under the main framework of the education policy of the federal government.
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