Yesterday morning, as I went for my habitual constitutional with my pet dog Fenix, I saw – as I often do – this young girl of around nine years. She was wearing clothes more reminiscent of cold weather than this usually warm climate.
It was not an illusion; the weather truly was cool that time of morning, and those not used to around fifteen-eighteen degrees at that time of day would happily misconstrue the weather as ice-cube “cold”, so that they could get to wear very warm cotton jackets.
Today, I thought, it was time to muster up the courage to ask her a question—so I did.
“How are you?” I asked in twi
“O ye”, or “it’s fine/I’m fine”, she responded with a smile.
Then I stopped. “Na, owo, inko school?” (aren’t you going to go to school?) I asked with an air of seriousness.
She almost curtsied, smiling a weak smile.
“Don’t you know that education is now free?”
She nodded in the affirmative; I couldn’t believe that she did. I don’t think she’s been reading a newspaper lately!
SO, standing my ground for the attention she had given me, I went in for the kill.
“Education is now free. SO, tell your relative, or your parents, or those who look after you. Ok?”
She nodded, and curtsied yet again.
Evidently, a sign of a person with potentially good manners.
But, I felt sad, at the fact that the so-called FCUBE, or Free Compulsory Basic Education had been launched a few weeks ago here in
But if it is a crusade I have to embark on, as was the case with CITI-FM, then I will do so. To the degree that each time she sees me, she will JUST want to go home and tell her relatives about FCUBE so that I don’t bother her again!:-)
The Government of
In response to these and other concerns about educational quality, the government launched, in 1996, its Free Compulsory Universal Basic Education (FCUBE) program, a package of reforms designed specifically to focus on basic education access and quality. FCUBE has three primary components:
- Improving the Quality of Teaching and Learning: Activities focus on enhancing specific teaching skills through pre-service and in-service teacher training; improving teacher motivation through incentive programs; promoting quality of student learning and performance through curriculum reviews and improved teacher-student interaction; provision of adequate and timely learning materials to all schools; improvement of teacher-community relationships.
- Improving Efficiency in Management: Activities focus on the re-organization and re-orientation of management practices in the education delivery system. Specifically, this component strives to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of management performance in the education sector. Activities address management reforms; discipline and accountability in schools; increased enforcement of effective teaching and learning; elimination of teacher absenteeism, lateness and misuse of instructional time; and building the morale of pre-tertiary personnel.
- Increasing Access and Participation: Activities are designed to ensure that there is total access and retention of all school-age children in the nine-year basic education program, and that all stakeholders participate fully in educational services/programs within their localities. Activities involve expanding infrastructural facilities and services to enhance access; addressing issues of enrolment and retention for all school-age children; enhancing quality in the provision of educational services and facilities; ensuring good quality teaching through the setting of performance targets; encouraging all stakeholders to participate fully in educational services/programs.
To achieve these objectives, the Government of