1. What is Universal Basic Education Programme?

UBE is an educational reform programme of the Nigerian Government
that provides free, compulsory, and continuous 9-year education in two
6 years of primary
• 3 years of junior secondary education for all school-aged children

2. What constitutes the UBE programme?

There are 3 components of the UBE programme, and these are:
Early Childhood Care and Development Education (ECCDE)
6 year Primary Education
3 years JSS Education

3. When was UBE launched?

UBE was launched on 29th September, 1999 by President Olusegun
Obasanjo in Sokoto, Sokoto State

4. What is the legal framework for the implementation of the UBE

The legal framework for the UBE programme is the UBE Act 2004 signed
into law in May 2004 by President Obasanjo.

5. When did UBE take-off effectively?

UBE programme took-off effectively with the signing of the UBE Act in
April 2004. However, the implementation started in earnest in July 2005
with the appropriation of the UBE fund to the Commission and
subsequent disbursement to States.

6. Is it a new educational policy?

No. It is not a new educational policy. UBE is provided within the context
of the 6-3-3-4 National Policy of Education. Indeed its introduction is a
reinforcement of the 6-3-3-4 policy on education.

7. Why didn’t the UBE programme take-off immediately after the
launch in 1999?

UBE could not take-off immediately after its launch as it did not have legal
backing. Nonetheless many UBE related activities were carried out in the
areas of social mobilization, infrastructural development, provision of
instructional materials, etc.

8. Who are the beneficiaries of the UBE programme?

They beneficiaries of the UBE program are as follows:
Children aged 3 – 5 years for ECCDE
Children aged 6-11+ years for Primary School Education
Children aged 12 – 14+ years for Junior Secondary School

9. Why the 9-year continuous Basic Education?

At the moment, completion of primary school doesn’t equip a child with
the necessary life skills to become self reliant. Thus for any Nigerian child
to be considered functionally literate and numerate, he or she must successfully complete 9 years of schooling

10. Is ECCDE also compulsory?

No, it is not compulsory. What is compulsory is 6 years of Primary and 3
years of JSS Education. However, parents are strongly encouraged to
register their children in ECCDE Centres while government is expected to
provide ECCDE Centres of good quality.

11. Who implements the UBE programme?

The implementation of UBE programme resides with State Governments
in conformity with the provisions of the 1999 Constitution, and the relevant
section of UBE Act 2004.

12. What is the role of the Federal Government in implementing UBE?

The role of FGN in the implementation of UBE is to ensure quality control
and maintenance of uniform standard as well as general co-ordination of
programme implementation.

13. How is the UBE Programme funded?

UBE Programme is funded by the States and Local Governments with
support from the Federal Government through its intervention fund.

14. What is the nature of the Federal Government’s support to the

The Federal Government, as provided by the UBE Act 2004 has set aside
2% of its Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) to support States in the
implementation of the UBE programme.

15. What does the 2% of the CFR amount to?

The amount differs from year to year depending on Federal Government’s
yearly revenue profile. The cumulative statutory releases of 2%
Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) from 2005 to September 2009 stood
at N 163,557,250,000.00

16. In what manner is the 2% CRF distributed to States?

The 2% CRF is disbursed to the States in this proportion:
• 50% Matching Grant
• 14% Fund to address Educational Imbalance among and within States
• 15% Instructional Materials Funds
• 5% Incentive to States for Good Performance
• 2% Funds for the education of the Physically and Mentally Challenged
• Children
• 2% Funds for Monitoring of UBE Programmes
• 2% Implementation Fund.
• 10% Funds for Teacher Professional Development

17. What are States expected to do in order to qualify to access Federal Government’s UBE Intervention Fund?

Among other things States are expected to:
• Replicate the UBE Act at the State level and set up a State Universal Basic
Education Board
• Provide Matching Grants to Federal Government’s intervention funds
• Draw up State UBE Action Plans
• Establish adequate mechanisms for programme implementation, monitoring
and evaluation

18. What is Matching Grant?

Matching Grant is fund that is contributed by both Federal and States
Governments, on equal basis. It is 50% of 2% CRF

19. In which areas is the Matching Grant utilized?

The Matching Grant is expected to be utilized in the implementation of
programmes under the three key components of:
• Primary

20. How is the Matching Grant applied?

The Matching Grant is to be applied in line with the priority basic
education needs of each State.

21. How free is the UBE Programme?

The UBE Act provides that the following should be provided free of
• Tuition
• Textbooks in the 4 and 5 of the core subjects areas of Primary and JSS, respectively
• Classrooms and other infrastructural facilities within States

22. Which core subjects will textbooks be provided for free of

(a) Four of the core subjects in primary schools:
English Studies, Mathematics, Basic Science/Technology and Social Studies
(b) Five of the core subjects in Junior Secondary schools
English Studies, Mathematics, Basic Science, Basic Technology and Social

23. Is the existing curriculum going to change as a result of the introduction of the UBE Programme?

Yes, the curriculum has been changed. A new 9-year Basic Education
Curriculum is now in place.

24. When is the new curriculum going to be implemented?

The new curriculum will begin to be implemented in September 2007, with
only Primary 1 and JSS 1. The old primary curriculum will be phased out
by July 2013 and that of Junior Secondary Schools in July 2010
and States

25. What are the new areas of emphasis in the new 9 year Basic Education Curriculum?

The new areas of emphasis are:
• Value Reorientation
• Basic Science
• Basic Technology
• Computer Science
• Teaching of Thinking
• Home Economics
• Agriculture
• Business Studies
• Civic Education
• Moral Instructions
• French

26. What is the mode of assessment in the UBE Programme?

School-based Assessment or Continuous Assessment (CA) is the
dominant mode of assessment of learning under Universal Basic
Education Programme. determines the progress of the child from one
level to another such that failure to meet certain conditions will mean that
a child will have to repeat a level.

27. Who conducts the examination leading to the award of the Basic
Education Certificate at the end of JSS 3?

The school based Continuous Assessment constitutes 60% of the overall
student assessment while an external examination to be conducted by the
State Ministries of Education and moderated by an approved national
examination body, accounts for the remaining 40%.

28. What is the position of Common Entrance Examination and the
School Leaving Certificate under the UBE programme?

Under the Universal Basic Education Programme there is no First School
Leaving Certificate. Furthermore Common Entrance Examination for
admission into JSS has been discontinued with effect from 2006
Certificate is only issued at the end of JSS III. This is known as Basic
Education Certificates (BEC).

29. What is the quality assurance framework under the Universal Basic Education Programme?

To ensure quality, a Continuous Assessment, Instrument has been
standardized which is to be applied nationally, with effect from September

30. How will primary 6 pupils be placed in JSS?

Each State Ministry of Education and FCT is required to provide a space
for every child who has successfully completed primary six into any of the
three Junior Secondary Schools of his or her choice. Where there is no
vacancy in any of the three schools of the pupil’s choice, the state
authorities shall offer a space for the child in the nearest available school
where there is vacancy.

31. How will UBE be implemented under the existing 6-year Secondary
School Arrangement?

Under the new UBE system JSS should be separated from the SSS, and
this is referred to as disarticulation. In other words, the two levels should
locations, infrastructures etc. The existing 6-year Secondary education is
in contradiction to the existing policy of 6-3-3-4 and is to be discontinued

32. When did the policy on disarticulation come into effect?

In 2004 the National Council on Education agreed on a five year
disarticulation plan. The disarticulation commenced in 2004 and is
expected to have been completed by both public and private sector
providers in due course.

33. How does the UBE Commission ensure quality in Training and Retraining of Teachers ?

Only accredited institutions such as Colleges of Education, Departments/
Faculties of Education of Universities, NIEPA, NTI etc are engaged in the training and retraining of teachers

34. What will classes in primary & JSS be called?

There is no change of name for classes in primary and junior secondary
schools. The classes will still be called primary 1-6 and JSS I-III

35. What steps is the Federal Government taking to ensure the successful implementation of UBE Programme?

• Federal Government has provided Matching Grants to the states as FG-UBE
intervention fund.
• Federal Government is providing funds for rectification of educational imbalance in the country by supporting communities in educationally disadvantaged
• UBE Commission is set to ensure inclusiveness in Basic Education Programme
implementation by supporting SUBEBs in the delivery of
education for children with special needs.
• Federal Government is further investing MDG funds (from the debt relief
granted by Paris Club of Creditors) in the following areas:
a. provision of science kits to primary schools
b. improvement of teacher quality through in-service training forteachers
conducted by NTI on annual basis.
c. recruitment of holders of Nigeria Certificate in Education under the FTS
program for a two-year Federal Government guaranteed remuneration
programme implementation is guided by well-articulated quarterly. Action Plans that ensures that funds are applied to areas of priority
UBE has an all embracing procedure for monitoring the utilization of disbursed funds and programme implementation,

36. What is the assurance of the success of the UBE programme?

• UBE is pivotal to the attainment of and is interlinked with National Economic
Empowerment Development Strategy (NEEDS), State Economic Empowerment
Development Strategy (SEEDS), Education For All (EFA) and Millennium Development Goals
• UBE is widely embraced as a critical success factor in attaining national and
international commitments
• The program implementation is inclusive of all segments of society Federal
and State governments, International Development Partners, Private Sector
Organizations, NGOs, CSOs and other stakeholders.
• Basic Education stakeholders have accepted the programme and are working
tirelessly to assume ownership of the reform programme as a sustainable
mechanism for combating illiteracy and poverty reduction.
• Necessary funds are being injected into the programme for capacity building,
monitoring and evaluation as well as constant review of project performance
• • Government has opened up the sub-sector to a wide range of opinions, resources and skills capable of injecting expertise and quality into the programme implementation
• Other efforts are being put in place to ensure that the programme succeeds
and the success recorded sustained for the overall benefit of the entire nation.

37. How do the Private Operators of the Basic Education fit into the
UBE Programme?

There are certain basic expectations on the Private Operators of Basic
Education Institutions. These are:
1. Disarticulating JSS from SSS so as to ensure the existence of two separate
administrations in existing secondary schools.
2. Implementation of the 9-year Basic Education curriculum
3. Ensuring the employment of qualified teachers and their continuous professional development
4. Providing standard infrastructure
5. Subject their institutions to periodic inspection by state/federal inspectorate

38. Will private sector providers access the UBE Intervention fund?

No, the private sector providers will not access the FGN UBE intervention
funds because they charge tuition and other variety of fees, which is
contrary to the provisions of the UBE Act.

39. What happens to primary 6 completers in private primary schools
that do not have JSS?

The SUBEBs have the responsibility of placing such students in the
existing JSS schools.

40. Are private basic education service providers allowed to conduct
entrance examinations into their institutions?

Yes, they are free to conduct Entrance Examination for the purpose of
selecting candidates for either ECCDE, primary or JSS schools.
However, admission into JSS by basic education service providers must
take cognizance of the candidate’s Continuous Assessment from his/her
previous institutions.

Dame (Mrs.) Comfort Iheme – Rep. South East

She hails from Bende LGA of Abia State. She holds a B.Sc, 1987 from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.

Dr. Danjuma Adamu Dabo – Rep. North East

Dr. Danjuma hails from Bauchi State. He obtained M.Sc Public Administration and Policy Analysis from the University of Abuja, MBA form Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria and Ph.D Economics from the Loughborough University, UK.