Segun Awofadeji in Bauchi
Governor Muhammadu Yahaya of Gombe State has started distributing school uniforms and bags containing writing materials to students in state schools and girls’ learning centers in the state.
During the exercise at Jalingo Primary School in the Furnakaye local government area, he said the distribution of the materials demonstrates his administration’s commitment to improving the quality of education in the state through providing teaching materials and basic support to students in various public schools across the state.
The governor expressed the hope that this gesture will help to increase the level of enrollment and improve the quality of teaching and learning in public schools with a view to producing students who will excel in the higher stages of the school year. life in the future.
He regretted that over the years the state had been ranked among the worst performing states on national exams, as such his government saw the need to change the rhetoric through sound education policies.
He added that his administration encountered an education system ravaged by inadequate and dilapidated infrastructure, large numbers of out-of-school children and an ill-trained and poorly motivated teaching workforce.
The governor said that through concerted efforts, his government declared a state of emergency in the sector and deployed a comprehensive approach to address the educational challenges of the state.
He said the government had taken the necessary steps to improve basic literacy by venturing into the federal government / World Bank Better Delivery of Education for All (BESDA) project to ensure clean-up. out-of-school children and their return to formal learning. centers.
“Other measures taken include the conversion and renovation of the dilapidated and abandoned Almajiri school in Kwami into a teacher training center to serve as a capacity building citadel for teachers in the state. “
He praised the concerted efforts of BESDA and SUBEB as well as development partners such as USAID and UNICEF to help the state reorganize education in the state through the training and retraining of teachers.
“Other areas of interest in improving education in the state are renovating schools across the state to ensure a conducive learning atmosphere is in place for students and teachers. “
He added that between September 2019 and March 2020, the state government, thanks to the BESDA project, was able to enroll more than 200,000 out-of-school children, ranging from the almajiri / tsangaya school category to the education of girls.
The governor, who urged traditional leaders and parents to support the government in sensitization and mobilization, also instructed SUBEB and BESDA officials to be fair and transparent in the distribution of documents.
He said his administration was committed to sponsoring all disabled services free of charge, pledging to personally sponsor an eight-year-old visually impaired student Muhammad Ahmad, who was occasionally with the help of a guide.
He said he would personally fund the education expenses of the elementary boy at any level he aspires to from his own pocket.
Education Commissioner Dr Habu Dahiru assured guests that the state education ministry will continue to ensure that the ministry’s statutory mandate – to promote quality education policies – is upheld.
He noted that the ministry closely supports and monitors basic education projects to ensure that they become successful.
The Commissioner praised Yahaya for reintroducing the mock exam which he said will now be used as a criterion for student sponsorship in WAEC / NECO.
He expressed hope that the restored policy will have an impact on students’ performance in high school certificate exams.
In his remarks, BESDA State Coordinator, Dr Abdullahi Garkuwa praised the educational initiatives of the Yahaya administration and the commitment of other development partners to the BESDA project, attributing the successes recorded by the project in the state at the positive disposition of the governor.
The president of the National Council for Universal Basic Education, Babaji Babadidi, attributed the threat of out-of-school children to poverty, socio-economic benefits, cultural and security concerns. He applauded the governor for taking the necessary steps to nip the situation in the bud.
More than 200,000 students are expected to benefit from the free distribution of uniforms and educational materials.