By Francis Sardauna
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in collaboration with the Katsina State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) has expended N14 million for the training of 1,500 pupils across the three senatorial zones of the state on School Improvement Plan.
The pupils, who were selected across 300 primary schools in the zones, are expected to voice out predicaments afflicting them in their respective schools during School-Based Management Committee (SBMC) meetings in order to improve the standard of their schools.
Speaking with journalists during the training in Ingawa on Friday, the SUBEB Assistant Director Planning, Research and Statistics, Hajiya Zainab Garba Kaita, said the training driven by UNICEF under its Girls Education Project (GEP3), is also supported by the Federal and Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO).
THISDAY, which monitored the two-day training in Ingawa, Kankia and Rimi, reports that the Kano Field Office of UNICEF comprises Katsina, Kano and Jigawa States and has been rendering humanitarian services to rural communities in Katsina State since 2005.
Kaita, who is the state UNICEF focal person, explained that the training was done simultaneously in Rimi, Kankia, Kankara, Baure and Ingawa Local Government Areas, while Jibia, Batsari, Faskari and Sabuwa were excluded from the training as a result of pervading security challenges bedevilling the councils.
She said: “The 1,500 pupils were drawn from 300 primary schools across five local government areas of Rimi, Kankia, Kankara, Baure and Ingawa. In fact, we put aside Jibia, Faskari, Sabuwa and Batsari due to security challenges but UNICEF promised to carry out similar training in the LGAs when the situation improves.
“The essence of the training is that we want the voices of these children, who are members of SBMC, to be heard everywhere by reporting issues facing them in their respective schools to appropriate authorities for necessary actions.
“N14 million has been released by UNICEF for the concluded training. The N14 million covers both the feeding, training of teacher mentors, 30 master trainers and allowances. In addition, UNICEF has also provided the pupils with school bags, T-shirts and caps.”
She affirmed that the state government and UNICEF will work assiduously to tackle the needs and problems affecting children in schools across the state to ensure effective and efficient service delivery.
Some of the pupils interviewed — Haliru Lawal and Zainab Abdullahi — applauded UNICEF for the training and called for periodic monitoring of schools by government officials to checkmate what they termed illegalities.