Francis Sardauna in Katsina
Following a report published by THISDAY on the deplorable condition of Kewa Local Education Authority Primary School in Batagarawa Local Government Area of Katsina State, the government has renovated and provided additional desks and instructional materials to the school amounting.
The school, located few kilometers away from Katsina, the Katsina State capital, caters for pupils from several indigent families in Kewa and Kaladu communities.
The 17-year-old school with only one block of two classrooms, which has 15 desks for a population of 280 pupils then, now wears a new look with 200 desks, additional instructional materials among other provisions.
THISDAY correspondent visited the school on August 7, 2019, and observed that the roof of the building blown away by a windstorm on May 11, 2015, has been replaced.
The school, fully-revamped and beautifully painted in the colours of the ruling All Progressives Congress party’s flag, according to the council chairman, Alhaji Abubakar Tsanni, cost N2 million and that included the repair of three boreholes in the communities.
Speaking in an interview, Muhammad Lawan, a father who has two children in the school, said the pupils were sometimes not keen on going to the school because of its previous state of disrepair.
He added, “But now that the school is properly renovated by the state government through our amiable chairman, our children will be keen on their studies. We have done our best to call the attention of the government but nothing was done. We thank THISDAY for telling the government about the true condition of our school, if not because of your writing government would’ve not renovated our school. Thank you and God bless.
“Because of your one-page publication, they came to these communities and renovated our school within a few days. They also repaired our boreholes which have been abandoned for many years. But we are appealing to the government to also construct Kewa/Kaladu road to enable us to carry our farm products to nearby markets in the state”.
On his part, the village head of Kewa, Muhammadu Gide, who was overwhelmed by the gesture applauded the state government for tackling what he described as 17 years of neglect and urged the government to sustain the tempo across the 34 local government areas of the state in order to assuage the plight of rural dwellers.
He called on government to address the teachers’ shortage in the school, adding that there were some schools in the local government headquarters with more than 10 teachers, “there are schools in Batagarawa and Katsina towns that has 10 to 11 teachers but here we have only two teachers”.
Haruna Ado, one of the Primary 2 pupils in the school, said: “We do receive lessons in the sun and anytime it rains; that will be the end of the day’s lessons but now our school is well furnished so sun and rain will not disturb us again”.
When contacted, the Transition Committee Chairman of the Council, Alhaji Abubakar Tsanni said: “Some weeks ago, my attention was drawn to a publication by THISDAY Newspapers about a condition of a primary school in my local government area (Batagarawa) and I immediately directed my director of works to find out the situation.
“We have already renovated the school at the tune of N2 million and we did not only end there because we also repaired three boreholes in the communities. We also have a plan for constructing a road that will link the two communities to the school because there is no good road there.”
He, however, claimed that the school was one of the six primary and secondary schools mapped out by the state government in the council for renovation, adding that a committee was set up for the rehabilitation of the school before THISDAY published its report.
“We have already seen that it is one of the schools that we have already agreed to start working with because we have already made all the necessary arrangements to renovate about six schools, which Kewa primary school was one of them,” Tsanni added.
According to Tsanni, the state government under the leadership of Governor Aminu Bello Masari has done tremendously well in rehabilitating and constructions of numerous schools in the area that include Government Pilot Science Secondary School, Batagarawa, and Government Girls Secondary School, Ajiwa.
While stating that the local government has employed 50 casual staff to complement the state government’s effort of tackling the dearth of manpower, the council boss said he would not relent in alleviating the plight of the citizenry in the area.
He pointed out that the government also undertook the fencing of schools in the three senatorial zones of the state, to ensure the security of lives and provide conducive teaching and learning environment for both students and staff.
Apart from school renovations, the transition committee chairman said the council under his watch had rehabilitated six primary healthcare centres in Yargamji, Zangado, Kutupa, Yargemu, and Barawa.
Tsanni explained, “Actually, the governor has done a lot of works in Batagarawa and the state in general. That is why sometimes when people are saying this government is only renovating hospitals or schools, I just look at them because they don’t know the position of the schools before that is why they are thinking that way. But when you go and see the condition of schools before Governor Masari renovated them you will cry.”
He blamed the PDP administration for piloting the affairs of the state for 16 years “without” renovating schools, hospitals, and roads in the state
“So, the coming of this government, we met so many schools and hospitals grounded. Therefore, four years will not be enough for the government to cover all the schools and other infrastructures that will need to put in place in the state,” he argued.