By Benson Ezugwu
Calabar – The Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) has introduced School-Based Management Committee-School Improvement Programme (SBMC-SIP) in line with the Federal Government’s commitment to encourage communities take ownership of schools in their domain.
The Director of Quality Assurance in Cross River State Universal Basic Education Board (CR-SUBEB), Mr Fransis Asaru, made this known in Calabar on Monday at the end of a tour of some projects by SBMC-SIP in some selected schools.
He said the exercise which was in collaboration with UBEC was necessitated by the need to ascertain the level of work done and ensure that benefitting communities put government funds to good use.
According to him, the SBMC-SIP allows communities with functional school-based management committees to access government funds to implement projects under three categories.
Asaru said this include micro, macro and special projects through provision of counterpart funds.
“The counterpart funds generated by communities do not have to be monetary but communities can also access funds by providing working materials or artisans to assist in such projects,” he said.
Also, the Principal Information Officer, UBEC, Mrs Tahoma Clifford, said she was impressed with the levels at which communities were committed to the improvement of basic education in the state.
She added that all the projects visited had representatives to respond to questions, which showed how involved SBMCs were in the execution of projects.
She stressed the need for increased monitoring of SBMC-SIP projects in order to ensure that SBMCs were not executing projects that outweigh funds provided and projects were completed within timelines.
It would be noted that SBMC-SIP is different from the UBE intervention funds which have to do with counterpart fund at the state level.
At the SBMC-SIP level, funds are sent directly to benefitting communities through the SBMCs.
SBMC-SIP was introduced by the Federal Government to encourage communities take over ownership of schools to curb vandalism, truancy and support government’s efforts for quality education.