For an effective and efficient take-off of the free and compulsory basic and secondary education in Kano state, governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje has flagged-off the funding component of the programme with the disbursement of N200 Million Naira, as monthly intervention from the state, which costs N2.4 Billion annually.
The flag-off was held at Sani Abacha Indoor Stadium, Kofar Mata, Kano, Thursday, amid cheers and show of support to the programme by teachers, students, parents, stakeholders and other community people.
The sum is earmarked as direct funding strategy to schools numbering 1,180, with a total student population of 834,366, as Ganduje explains that, “Upon this milestone, we are also prepared today to flag-off the funding component of Free and Compulsory Basic and Secondary Education programme with the direct funding of schools in the state.”
He further explained that, “In our efforts to integrate the Tsangaya Schools into the programme, Government has initiated a pilot scheme with 52 selected Mega Schools to receive direct funding from Government.”
At the occasion, governor Ganduje discloses that, apart from the direct funding strategy, for the schools, the state government has provided school uniforms to 779,552 for newly enrolled pupils (boys and girls) at the total cost of over N381 Million.
In the area of manpower, he further hinted that, government would, in an effort to reduce teacher deficiency in the sector, engage the services of 3,000 Volunteer Teachers to teach in the various public and Tsangaya (Almajiri) schools across the state.
On feeding aspect, Ganduje reveals that, “Government is also expending the sum of N350.7 Million for the feeding of primary schools pupils in classes 4,5 and 6 to supplement the federal government home-grown feeding programme for pupils in classes 1, 2 and 3.”
To make stronger, a policy with sustainability base, the state is preparing to enact a Law, with a view to institutionalizing the free and compulsory education policy in ensuring the successful attainment of the targeted goals.
For accuracy purpose in the good implementation of the policy, governor highlighted that, the state has constituted a Committee to revalidate the data on all Out-Of-School children across the state, with a view to generating “…a comprehensive and reliable record.”
Adding that, that was aimed at consolidating the state commitment to the “Better Education Service for All (BESDA), a UNICEF programme which aims at ensuring equitable access to basic education for Out-Of-School children.”
He continued that, development partners like World Bank, that provided 790 Digital Classroom All Inclusive Empowerment Solution and Tablet for distribution to teachers, need to be commended for showing their support to the endeavour.
Generally put, he said “At this juncture, I warmly appreciate the cooperation of the Development Partners and other stakeholders and equally appeal for the sustenance of their support towards the successful implementation of the Free and Compulsory Basic and Secondary Education policy in the state.”
Ganduje solicited for community participation in the programme for its success and sustainability, insisting that, “…government alone cannot shoulder all the responsibilities. As such community participation is needed. I am therefore using this opportunity to call on our well to do individuals and other corporate bodies to chip in and make this endeavour a complete success.”
On general note, the governor explained, that the programme is premised on the good objective of “…uplifting the quality of life of the citizenry and enhancing sustainable socio-economic development in the state.”
This could be realisable, according to him, through many ways, like the guiding philosophy that education is for all, which should be focusing on providing equal educational opportunity to all children in the state.
Other factors he listed are “Girl child education, especially for the poor and rural families, out-of-school children enrolment for Western education and integration of Tsangaya/Almajiri education system.”
The presence of Emirs of Bichi, Karaye, Rano, Gaya and the representative of the Emir of Kano added value and quality to the programme, as their presence shows grassroot support from the royal fathers, which ultimately trickles down to their subjects.
Representatives of the World Bank, DFID and UNICEF, who spoke at the occasion, solidified their unflinching support to the programme. Assuring that, they would do whatever possible to see to the successful implementation of the programme.
Chief Press Secretary to the Kano State Governor