The Universal Basic Education Board (UBEC), in collaboration with the Benue State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), hosted a two-day training session for Physical Planning Officers on monitoring SUBEB projects in Makurdi, the Benue State capital.
During the exercise's launching ceremony, Mrs Augustina Sanchi, the State UBEC Coordinator, expressed hope that digital monitoring of projects would provide accurate and realistic monitoring reports, as well as discipline, noting that the tablets had been programmed to identify even users' position.
Mrs. Sanchi instructed the participants to handle the gadgets with care and informed those who did not receive tablets that they will be included in the next action plan.
In his keynote address, SUBEB Executive Chairman, Comrade Joseph Utse, represented by Permanent Member 1 at the Board, Hon. Mike Kusah, stated that the initiative, developed by UBEC in collaboration with the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) and other professionals in the building industry, provided the opportunity for 10 physical planning officers to be trained and would help strengthen the building industry.
He hoped that electronic project monitoring would reduce the challenges associated with project monitoring, such as an insufficient number of visits to project sites, a weak follow-up mechanism, quackery at project sites, and a lack of checks and balances in monitoring towards quality infrastructure for efficient Basic Education delivery.
Comrade Utse praised Governor Samuel Ortom for establishing an atmosphere conducive to the achievement of educational programmes in the state.
He also thanked UBEC and the NASRDA personnel for organising the course.
Mrs Joy Adole, SUBEB Director of Planning, Research and Statistics ( PRS), said earlier in a welcome address that the innovation was in line with emerging global best practises, adding that the paradigm shift from analogue monitoring to a digital and sophisticated mode of monitoring would pave the way for accountability, quality, and accuracy.
The PRS Director, who stated that staff training and retraining is critical to ensuring efficiency in any company, stated that the session will broaden participants' knowledge of project monitoring.
Mrs Susan Ajonye, NASRDA team leader, said in a goodwill message that the adoption of electronic monitoring was a homegrown solution for timely execution of projects at the grassroots level for Basic Education in Nigeria.
She stated that the systems are strong in terms of features and operating capability, allowing for organic development to accommodate more future applications and utilizations. The project is based on integrated space science, information and communication technology, remotely sensed data from earth observation satellites, global positioning system, Geographic Information System, and traditional project monitoring methodologies.
She went on to say that the electronic monitoring system is quick to verify, accurate, and available on digital devices, which streamlines data gathering. The new technology automates information processing and reduces the possibility of human mistake.
In a vote of gratitude, SUBEB Permanent Member 2, Engr. Egli Ahubi, who supervises the PRS department, thanked UBEC and NASRDA for organising the workshop and pledged SUBEB's continued participation.
Responding on behalf of the participants, Mr Innocent Ugbudu, Head of Projects at SUBEB, expressed confidence that the capacity building training would make their work less tedious, increase efficiency, and put Benue SUBEB on par with other states that have long embraced space technology in project monitoring.
The symbolic handover of the tablets to participants by the NASRDA team leader, Mrs Susan Ajonye, was a highlight of the occasion.
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