By:Uchino Amatey, CRS- MOI Officer reporting from CR- SUBEB.

The Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) in collaboration with United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) is holding a 5-day training workshop for Universal Basic Education Commission's(UBEC) Social Mobilization Staff and State Universal Basic Education Board(SUBEB) School- Based Management Committees Desk Officers across the 36 States and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), in Calabar, Cross River State.

Declaring the Workshop open, the Executive Secretary, UBEC, Dr Hamid Bobboyi stated that the role of SBMCs in promoting access to equitable, inclusive and quality education cannot be over-emphasized.

The Executive Secretary UBEC, who was represented by the Director of Administration, Rev. Edwin Jarumai, further stated that, the training  is one of the Commission’s strategies to ensure that SBMCs are supported and encouraged to discharge their roles effectively.

In his words: “I am convinced that, at the end of the training, participant's capacity would have been beefed up to reposition them more to undertake grassroots advocacy, sensitization and mobilization of the school's immediate communities and forge linkages with other stakeholders in support of school enrolment, retention, amongst others.”

He urged participants to demonstrate strong commitment and devote time throughout the period of the workshop, in order to derive maximum benefits that will add value to their work and also assist in contributing their quarter in the achievement of the UBE programme objectives.

The UBEC Executive Secretary extended gratitude to the training partner- UNICEF for its financial support and unwavering readiness to support basic education at all times.

In a goodwill message, the Executive Chairman,Cross River State Universal Basic Education Board, Dr Stephen Odey, who was represented by the Director of Administration, SUBEB, Mr Emmanuel Ojong expressed gratitude to UBEC for the choice of Calabar as the training venue.

Describing the role of SBMCs as crucial to the development of basic education in the Country, he said SBMCs are at the forefront of tackling the problem of out of school children in Nigeria and enjoined participants to remain dedicated throughout the course of the training exercise  in order to get the necessary skills to tackle challenges faced in the discharge of their functions.

In a welcome address, the Director of Social Mobilization, UBEC, Alhaji Bello Kagara, said the training session has been designed to further strengthen capacity on SBMC implementation modalities and re-acquaint participants with newly revised operational documents.

Alhaji Kagara further stated that the focus of the training will be on the formation and functioning of SBMC Committees to support the voice of women, child protection, inclusive education and change management,emphasizing that
in the wake of the Commission’s disbursed support funds to 66 schools each in all 36 states and FCT, Social Mobilization Officers and SBMC Desk Officers must always ensure vigorous community participation and their eventual ownership of the projects.

“I urge you to use viable advocacy and sensitization tools and strategies in achieving this. You should guard jealously to see that the SBMCs make the UBE Programme a huge success by increasing access, improving quality and ensuring equity”,

The Lead resource person, Mallam Ibrahim Suleiman commended the Social Mobilization Department of UBEC for its effort in sustaining the engagements of stakeholders, especially SUBEBs School Based Management Committees.

 Mallam Suleiman said the training was timely, and will help in not only pushing the discourse on out of school children and inclusive education further, but also serve as a think-tank to proffer solutions to these challenges.

The 5-day workshop which kicked off with an opening ceremony at Channel View, Hotel, Calabar, will come to a close on the 28th of February, 2020.

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