Osinbajo Lauds Kano’s Free, Compulsory Education

Yemi Osinbajo

Condemns attacks on Nigerians by S’Africans

Ibrahim Shuaibu in Kano

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo yesterday in Kano said that the introduction of free and compulsory education by Governor of Kano State, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, would trigger educational revolution in the entire country.

The vice president has also condemned the attacks on Nigerians living in South Africa.

Osinbajo declared during the opening ceremony of a two-day “Stakeholders Summit on Free and Compulsory Basic and Secondary Education,” which was organised by Kano State Government that “Kano State is eminently positioned to trigger educational revolution around the northern region and Nigeria in general and the federal government must stem the tide to make it workable.”

He also said the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has made heavy commitment to human capital development, one of which is the current feeding 9.8 million children daily during school hours.

He added that the federal government would soon meet its target of feeding 15 million school children daily.

The Vice President said that Buhari’s administration is continuously working in tandem with state governments to equip primary and secondary schools across the country with needed infrastructures that would provide conducive learning environment.

In his address, Ganduje explained that the objective of the summit was to discuss, analyse and generate ideas towards the implementation of the vision for free and compulsory basic and secondary education in the state.

“On my assumption of office for a second term on May 29, 2019, I made a policy statement and commitment to provide free and compulsory education from primary to senior secondary level. This is in recognition of the pivotal role of education as the primary agent of change in our society.

“It is disturbing to note from available statistics that Nigeria has over 10.5 million out-of-school children. It is also more alarming to note that 60 percent of that figure represents the girl-child.

“Also, eight million of those out-of-school children are in 10 northern states of Nigeria. Regrettably, available figures indicate that over three million of these out-of-school children are in Kano State.

“However, a recent survey revealed that most of these children are Almajiris from other northern states and children from the Republic of Niger, Chad and northern
part of Cameron,” Ganduje said.

He further called for regional coordination and legislation to control the influx of Almajiris from neighbouring countries, adding that: ‘This government has set up a committee to conduct a census of all out-of-school children with a view to update the available data and ensure adequate planning in preparation for the implementation of this all important education

“This will further consolidate the commitment of government to the ‘Better Education Service Delivery for All (BESDA), a UNICEF programme aimed at ensuring equitable access to basic education for out-of-school children,” he said.

Ganduje also revealed that plans are on the way to streamline about 13, 619 Quaranic schools with 2.5 million pupils across the state and integrate them into the free and compulsory education programme, adding that the government has set up Quranic and Islamiyyah Schools Management Board.

He further stated that his administration has commenced direct funding of primary and secondary schools numbering 1180 with a total student population of 834, 366 at a total cost of about N200 million per month or N2.4 billion per annum.

“Similarly, the government has provided school uniforms to 779, 522 newly enrolled pupils (boys and girls) at the total cost of N381 million and is in the process of engaging 3000 volunteer teachers to teach in the various public and Quranic schools across the state in a bid to reduce teaching deficiency in the sector.

“Other challenges inherent in this policy include massive rehabilitation and construction of new classrooms, provision of instructional materials, training and restraining of teachers, provision of instructional materials, provision of water, toilets and electricity in schools and strengthening of our institutions quality assurance,” he said.

Dignitaries who graced the occasion and pledged their support for the project were representatives of the United States’ ambassador to Nigeria; the British High Commission; French Ambassador to Nigeria; DFID; World Bank; United Arab Emirate’s ambassador to Nigeria and Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Nigeria, UNICEF.