One of the biggest challenges in planning and implementation of the Nigerian Universal Basic Education programme is the dearth of authentic data and records for planning and implementation. This has resulted in resource wastages as facilities and other support services are concentrated in one area to the detriments of other areas. This has been the case in the sitting of major projects, establishment of new schools, posting of teaching and non-teaching staff to schools and distribution of instructional materials.  This has denied children access to quality basic Education. As a result of the dearth of these essential data, allocations of these materials are made without reference to any document. In an attempt to curtail this ugly practices, UNICEF A field office Enugu introduced to states in the zone the concept of geographic information system (GIS).

The instrument is a scientific and technological tool used to locate the longitude and latitude of schools in communities; The GIS records the geo-coordinates of schools this makes room for referencing in the world map. This helps policy makers to know the distribution of schools in any given area. This guides them appropriately in taking further decision in the location and sitting of new schools or other education facilities. It helps to check concentration of education facilities in one area.

This helps in effective allocation of educational materials, which also culminates in effective and efficient utilization of scarce educational materials. It also helps in effective service delivery as educational materials are equitable allocated and the under-served school aged children are given opportunities to benefit from quality education delivery.

In Ebonyi State, the process of mapping the schools has taken off, with the assistance of UNICEF. In the light of this, two major steps have been taken. They include:
1.         Training of 30 state/LGEA EMIS/PRS staffs on school mapping using the GPS.
2.      A 2 –day training of 30 enumerators/data collectors and data input clerks on data collection and processing.

These training which was conducted using expert from ECODev consult from the University of Calabar, have equipped the PRS staffs; the data input clerks and the computer operators of the state and LGEAs with the necessary skills to collect quality education data, for accurate processing, analysis and made them user friendly for education policy makers’ usage.

By this, the state ministry of education has been appropriately placed in vintage position to produce data and present them in manners that could be interpreted and understood by stakeholders in Education. This will help them take decisions which amongst other things help in efficient utilization of educational resources, while children of school aged enjoy access to quality basic education.
What is required of Education stakeholders in Ebonyi State after the next levels of activities is to muster the courage and political will to use the output of the process in the management of education in the state.
Planned results:
1.         Capacities of PRS staff in data management enhanced
2.         Capacities of data collectors in collection of quality data enhanced.
3.         Data input clerks acquire skills in inputting, processing, interpretation and presentation of education data for stakeholders’ usage.
4.         Synergy between the work of data input clerks, and PRS staff created.

In a bid to ensure full concentration of the participants in the training, the training venue was taken out of the state capital to Abaomega in Onicha L.G.A, Ebonyi State. The participants in the two trainings where fully accommodated in a hotel. They worked each day late into the night, as the training was hands-on, activity based, and participatory. Each person has a laptop which he/she manipulate in order to follow the guidance of the experienced facilitators. This process actually produced the needed results.
1.  Framework for mapping and production of state map on school locations put in process.
2.  PRS, EMIS staffs and computer operators have their skills and capabilities enhanced on the use of Microsoft Excel and the arch GIS software in processing education data.
3.  Data collectors now trained on data collection especially the geo-coordinate system using the GPS.
4.  PRS and EMIS staff now can process, interpret and present education data in a form that is user friendly for Education stakeholders.

Lessons learnt
1.         Bureaucratic bottlenecks and red tepism is a big challenge and hindrance to the implementation of innovative ideas that can enhance implementation of quality basic Education.
2.         Personal interest sometimes over rides collective interest in the process of implementing government programmes

1.         Education stakeholders assumption of full ownership of the programme
2.         Lack of support by major stakeholders to lend necessary supports to the process.
3.         Lack of political will by stakeholders.

1.  UNICEF should appeal to the state planning commission to closely monitor the process and report to the state government officials     that constitute a clog in the implementation of the remaining stages.
2.  Advocacy by UNICEF to top staff of the implementing ministry for support to the programme.
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