By Mohammed Aminu in Sokoto
Sokoto State Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal at the weekend laid the foundation for the construction of a new secondary school in Balle, the headquarters of Gudu Local Government Area, effectively closing the chapter of the town being the only council without a secondary school in Nigeria.
Speaking at the event attended by development partners, religious leaders and traditional rulers from within and outside Sokoto, Tambuwal said his administration embarked on the project, as the area had remained the solitary council of the 23 others of the state and the entire country without a Senior Secondary School.
“The school will be a co-educational one, for boys and girls. We have decided to make it a unity school that will attract students from all parts of Nigeria and neighbouring Niger Republic.
“Students of the school would be taught in both English and French,” Tambuwal said.
According to him, the contractor had since been paid the required 30 per cent mobilisation fee.
He said the project would be completed in the next four months, while work commenced about two months ago.
The governor also promised to make funds available for the completion of the project on schedule and according to specifications.
“Education is key to success both in this world and in the hereafter. The school is aimed at improving enrolment, retention and completion of students across the state. It is also aimed at improving equal access to education for both boys and girls in the state.
“As the adage goes, when you educate a girl, you educate the society but when you educate a boy, you educate only an individual,” he added.
Tambuwal called on the contracting firm to complete the work on schedule, warning that compromise by supervising engineers would not be condoned.
Speaking at the occasion, the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, commended the state government for embarking on the project.
He stressed the need for all children to have equal opportunities to education.
While describing illiteracy as a “disease”, which forces people to follow others blindly, Abubakar decried street begging by some children, saying such obnoxious acts were un-Islamic.
The sultan urged wealthy individuals to provide scholarship for the children of the less privileged.
The state Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, Dr. Jabbi Kilgori, said the project consists of 12 classrooms, laboratories, a library, hostels, staff quarters and clinics, among others.