By Alade Aromashodu
The Minister of State for Education, Hajiya Aishatu Jibril Dukku has said that five per cent of the Universal Basic Education (UBE), grant was for the facilities, training of teachers and caregivers, and for the purchase of instructional and learning materials in each state of the federation.
Said she: â€œUnder the UBE Act, provision has been made for the creation of pre-school linkage to all existing public schools, to promote early learning and make children ready for schools and schools ready for children.â€
The minister, who was represented by Mrs. Victoria Faluyi said this at the Organisation Mondi ale Pour lâ€™Education Preâ€™scolaire (OMEP), the world organisation for early childhood educationâ€™s World Assembly and International Conference/Workshop held in Lagos Airport Hotels during the week.
She stressed that government will continue to pursue vigorously the policy to ensure that children have access to basic education, with emphasis on building strong foundations.
In her reference to this yearâ€™s OMEP theme: Learning to Listen, Listening to Learn,â€ the Minister reiterated was most appropriate and timely in view of the difficult situations facing many families today saying â€œThese include poverty, disfunctional families, sickness, bereavement and all other factors which can affect the childâ€™s ability to learn.â€
â€œParents, teachers and caregivers need to be encouraged to listen and pay attention to children, as this will go a long way towards meeting not just their physical needs, but also their emotional and psychological needs as well,â€ Dukku said.
She opined further that a number of initiatives have been put in place in order to produce quality teachers and caregivers in the country adding that â€œEighteen Colleges of Education have established Early Childhood Care and Education Departments in Nigeria aimed at providing pre-service training for teachers and caregivers as some universities are also training teachers in Early Childhood Education.