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Stakeholders converge on Lagos to build capacity for basic education monitoring

Stakeholders in the educational sector on Tuesday converged on Lagos for a two-day capacity building training for School Based Management Committee (SBMC) members from selected local government education authorities in the state.

This training can come at no better time than now when education, especially basic education is in dire need of the support of all stakeholders,” said Olufunso Owasanoye, executive director, Human Development Initiative (HDI), stating that every child in Lagos State must have access to quality basic education, with standard educational infrastructure for service delivery.

According to Owasanoye, the engagement was meant to equip the stakeholders in supporting existing government-instituted measures in the management of public schools. “This training aims to strengthen your capacity in advocating for positive change in the management of our public schools,” Owasanoye stated.

The HDI with support of the MacArthur Foundation embarked on projects monitoring to ascertain the utilisation of Universal Basic Education (UBE) funds in collaboration with other NGOs.

Stella Olubunmi Francis, the executive director, Glowing Splints Development Initiative and resource person at the two day SBMC workshop, said one of the major roles of setting up SBMC was to help reduce the number of out-of-school-children in the country.

According to her, SBMC members are expected to monitor their communities and work closely with school administrators towards the upliftment of the school. “…the best interest of the child should be paramount in all that we do,” said Francis.

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In her presentation on “Conflict resolution in the governance of basic education and composition/membership of School Based Management Committees,” said poor communication is the major cause of conflict resolution. “As SBMC or PF members we must prevent conflict from becoming a barrier from moving forward, or achieving our common goals of improving our schools,” she stated.

Francis posited that conflict resolution is finding peaceful solutions to disagreements, especially among SBMC members. “…process of limiting the negative aspects of conflict while increasing its positive aspects,” said Francis urging participants to engage in act that will enable them identify and handle conflicts sensibly, fairly and efficiently.

Oriyomi Ogunwale, a representative of Eduplana, said, “We advocate for effective quality education in Nigeria and what we try to do is to ensure that citizens demand accountability and transparency in Nigeria’s education sector.”

Speaking on the “Public Schools renovation advocacy: citizens-led efforts” initiative of Eduplana, Ogunwale said the group has been able to deploy technology in ensuring that citizens can report infrastructural needs in public schools. According to him, the primary goal of the citizens-led initiative is to make learning environment conducive for better teaching-learning outcome.

“We have tried to simplify the process; today everybody uses WhatsApp: so as citizen and an average caring parent, you can actually take a picture of that place you don’t want or like; and want the government to address. We will write to the government to monitor the complaint by engaging government,” Ogunwale said.

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