Kebbi State Governor, Comrade (Dr) Nasir Idris, said on Tuesday that his administration has, within its first eight months in office, expended over N9 billion on repositioning education.
Governor Idris, who disclosed this at a flag-off of the National Campaign on Out-of-School Children in the six Geo-Political Zones in Nigeria held in Birnin-Kebbi, the Kebbi State capital, added that the sum was spent on the construction of classrooms, the provision of motorised boreholes and hand pumps, the construction of toilets, the provision of furniture, the renovation of dilapidated classrooms, and the provision of textbooks and writing materials.
According to him, 2,000 teachers were trained to improve their pedagogic competence for effective teaching in schools, adding that six mega schools were being constructed to provide access to education for Almajiris and other categories of out-of-school children in the state.
He added that 717 post-basic literacy centres were established across the state for the post-basic literacy programme for the Almajiris, who had already undergone a basic literacy programme under Better Education Service Delivery for All (BESDA).
The governor noted with satisfaction that the BESDA programme in Kebbi State recorded tremendous success in terms of enrolling the different categories of out-of-school children into schools through the instrument of non-formal learning centres.
He explained that 3,945 learning centres were established, comprising Almajiri, Girl Child, and Nomads Children, and more than 500 learners have been enrolled in the basic literacy programme.
“This has let Kebbi attain an enviable position amongst the 17 BESDA participating states in terms of the achievement of rewards.”
In his speech, the Hon. Minister of State, Education, Dr Yusuf Tanko-Sununu, urged the Kebbi people to appreciate the new administration given to them by Almighty Allah by supporting its policies and programmes and rendering good advice that would take the state forward.
He appealed to individuals and groups to key into the national campaign on out-of-school children and other issues related to education “as government alone cannot do it.”
Tanko-Sununu advised the state government to establish a strong foundation by constructing more classrooms and recruiting more teachers to make it easy for the federal government to come in and assist.
The minister urged the governor to ensure the recruitment of professional teachers who were duly registered with the Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN).
While applauding the governor for increasing allocation to education in the 2024 budget, the minister also advised His Excellency to talk to traditional rulers in the state to see how teacher respect would be restored.
Dr Falake Olatunji-David, Director, Basic Education, Federal Ministry of Education, said the programme was the third phase of the several interventions embarked upon by the ministry to ensure a substantial reduction in the number of out-of-school children in Nigeria.
She lamented that a recent study shows that Nigeria accounts for one out of every five out-of-school children in the world and 45 per cent of out-of-school children in the West African sub-region.
The director appealed to spirited individuals in the state to aid the less privileged in the community by adopting children and youths “who are of school age and supporting their education.”