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GOVERNANCE OF EDUCATION SERVICE DELIVERY IN NIGERIA Fragile states seminar 7 January 2009 Stephen Baines.

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Presentation on theme: "GOVERNANCE OF EDUCATION SERVICE DELIVERY IN NIGERIA Fragile states seminar 7 January 2009 Stephen Baines."— Presentation transcript:

1 GOVERNANCE OF EDUCATION SERVICE DELIVERY IN NIGERIA Fragile states seminar 7 January 2009 Stephen Baines

2 Does Nigeria qualify as fragile? Worlds sixth largest oil producer Most populous African country A democracy with the army in barracks A functioning federal system of government A political vision for Nigerias future role in the world: A memory of civil conflict that drives a desire for compromise and ethnic, geographical and religious even-handedness.

3 On the other hand… Economy highly dependent on oil A poor track record in using national resources to develop the economy Very high disparity between rich and poor Social sectors that have seriously declined through neglect and mismanagement. Government services dysfunctional and inefficient Pervading culture of lack of trust Continuing lawlessness in the delta and occasional inter- ethnic violence

4 How does this affect education? Low levels of participation in education (girls in the North, boys in the South) Poor attainment in basic literacy and numeracy Poor physical infrastructure and lack of facilities, sanitation, learning materials etc Bad teaching Lack of management Serious under-funding at the point of delivery Little sense of community ownership of schools

5 What are the reasons for the dire state of public education? The problem is not lack of overall funding, but how the funding is accessed and used. Under-utilisation of funds due to Federal-State government tensions e.g. UBE Intervention Fund No clear relation between planning, budgeting and what actually happens Off-budget expenditure and diversion of allocations for other purposes Funds allocated not always released Proliferation of parastatal bodies 21 federal bodies under Federal Ministry of Education 11 bodies responsible for inspecting schools in Kano State

6 More problems… Overlapping constitutional roles and responsibilities Unwieldy institutional structures and concentrated decision making Politicisation of public service appointments Low levels of performance and capacity Lack of transparency and adherence to due process Policies and decisions based on intuition rather than data and analysis

7 Who is responsible for education? Federal system: constitutional roles - Federal government – tertiary education, policy, standards and quality assurance States – secondary Local Government – primary But it is not as simple as that: Basic education is the responsibility of the Universal Basic Education Commission and the SUBEBs Most of local government budgets spent by SUBEBs

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9 What sustains this system? System suits small elite in whom power is concentrated Network of vested interests due to patronage Weak accountability Supine legislators Sensationalist press Big man complacency Buoyant economy Opt-out from public education Private education Islamic education

10 Is change possible? Political will exists amongst some political leaders Growing public disquiet over performance of the education system Private sector influence on politicians Influence of traditional leaders Influence of the Diaspora Downturn in the economy may expose weaknesses and prompt desire for change

11 What role is there for development partners Combined aid budgets less than 2% of GDP - influence therefore limited Isolated donor projects on e.g. teacher training or textbook provision unlikely to have much impact Need to leverage domestic resources Need for a system-wide approach that also takes in other sectors e.g. governance and public administration, health, voice and accountability But this is a high risk strategy.

12 Establishing a framework for improving basic education Federal government: to promote an enabling environment for reform States: strategic planning, budgeting, financial management and HR/performance management Schools: transformation to demonstrate that improvement is possible Community: voice and demand for improvement

13 In conclusion…fragile or not? Optimists look to: Relative political stability and functioning political and legal systems Vibrant private sector Continued petroleum revenues Pessimists look to: Fragile political, ethnic and geographical consensus Collapsing public services Economic slowdown and increasing social problems Mounting lawlessness Take your pick.


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