The goal of the Universal Basic Education (UBE) programme in Nigeria is to provide free, universal and compulsory basic education for every child aged between 6-15 years in Nigeria. The programme was launched in 1999, which only took off effectively with the signing of the UBE Act in April 2004. It was launched and executed by the Federal government to eradicate illiteracy, ignorance and poverty as well as stimulate and accelerate national development, political consciousness and national integration. Initially, UBE-related activities were carried out only in areas of social mobilisation, infrastructural development, provision of instructional materials, etc.

  • The main beneficiaries of the programme are:
    Children aged 3-5 years, for Early Children Care and Development Education (ECCDE); also known as the pre-primary education given to younger learners before entering primary education which 6 years.
  • Children aged 6-11+ years for primary school education; the Universal Basic Education, came as a substitution for the Universal Primary Education and expected to heighten the success of the first nine years of schooling, this involves 6 years of Primary School.
  • Children aged 12-14+ years for junior secondary school education: this phase of education in state secondary schools for 7, 8 and 9, it helps to secure the bridge between primary and Junior school is safe, strong and conformable for every student.

Its scope included the following expansion of activities in basic education:

  • “Programmes and initiatives for [ECCDE];
  • “Programmes and initiatives for the acquisition of functional literacy, numeracy and life skills, especially for adults (persons aged 15 and above);
  • “Out-of-school, non-formal programmes for the updating of knowledge and skills for persons who left school before acquiring the basics needed for lifelong learning;
  • “Special programmes of encouragement to all marginalised groups: girls and women, nomadic populations, out-of-school youth and the almajiris (Qur’anic student); it’s interesting to know that Borno State has a mega school purposely for the children of the nomadic Fulani people living in the state.
  • “Non-formal skills and apprenticeship training for adolescents and youth, who have not had the benefit of formal education: school children who were dropped out by one reason or the other have been enrolled for informal education by some NGOs operating in the state.

Not so long ago the governor had approved the release of 80 per cent counterpart fund to the State Primary Education Board for the continual rehabilitation and reconstruction of infrastructure in
rural schools. Also most giant mega schools in Maiduguri and other LGAs are meant for free primary education. Making the state the having the highest number of primary school in the country with standard structure and well equipped learning facilities.

Borno state has the highest number of NGOs operating and most of which provide free education for children of affected communities. They work with both schooled-age children from 6-18 years old of age and youth between 15 and 24 years old to provide the opportunity to complete a full cycle of basic education. Their work in education also focuses on providing educators with the knowledge and skills to improve the quality of education.