The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has urged all stakeholders in the education sector to intensify efforts toward ensuring safe learning environment for the Nigerian children to achieve their great potentials.
Mr Muntaka Mukhtar, UNICEF Education Specialist, made the call on Tuesday in Katsina during a one-day workshop on Dissemination of Research Findings on Impact of Violence in Schools on Girls Education in Nigeria.
The workshop was organized by the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) in collaboration with UNICEF.
Mukhtar further urged government at all levels to ensure adequate funding to support children education for better tomorrow, saying that no nation can develop without investing in children education.
According to him, stakeholders must continue to promote the rights and well being of all children, so that they can achieve greatness in life.
Mukhtar noted that violence whether physical, sexual, or of any kind, reduces children’s opportunities for proper learning in schools.
He therefore stressed the need to ensure that schools are made safe for learning and the rights of children fully protected.
In his remarks, the state Commissioner of Education, Prof. Badamasi Lawal, disclosed that no fewer than 1,963,571 children were enrolled into primary schools in the state in 2019.
Badamasi, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Hajiya Halima Othman, said that 1,004,743 of those enrolled were males while 958,823 were girls.
He further reveled that the Pupil-Qualified Teacher Ratio (PQTR) in public primary schools stands at: 91:1, Junior Secondary Schools, 83:1, Senior Secondary Schools: 55:1.
According to him, the Pupils-Classroom Ratio (PCR) in primary schools is: 143:1, JSS, 84:1, SSS, 67:1.
He noted that the percentage of schools without source of water stands at 59 per cent for primary schools, 15 per cent, JSS, and 16 per cent for SSS.
The commissioner revealed that the Pupils-Toilet Ratio for primary schools, stands at: 183:1, JSS, 98:1, and SSS has 69:1.
He added that the percentage of schools without health facilities in the state stands at 28 per cent for primary schools, JSS, three per cent, and for Senior Secondary Schools is two per cent.
Badamasi assured that the state government would continue to ensure adequate funding for education, because of its for its importance to nation building.
In his remarks, the Executive Chairman, SUBEB, Alhaji Lawal Buhari, said that the state government was addressing issues of violence in schools and investing heavily in the of education sector.
Edited By: Modupe Adeloye/Maharazu Ahmed
Amikanle a Lagos community struggling to upgrade education infrastructure
and Vivian Ihechu, Nigeria News Agency
For Amikanle community, in Agbado Oke-Odo Local Council Development Area (LCDA) of Lagos State, the lack of good education facilities that will enable the community attain Goal 4 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the UN is challenging.
The goal aims at ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education, promotion of lifelong learning opportunities for all.
To build and upgrade education facilities that are child, disability and gender sensitive and provide safe, non-violent and effective learning environments for all.
Good school buildings, one of the key components to attain the goal is yet to get the desired attention in the community.
The Amikanle Community Primary School, lacks benefitting infrastructure for conducive learning.
The school has an old school building and an ongoing one storey building project.
At a town hall meeting facilitated by Involve Africa, an NGO, how to complete the ongoing school building project was discussed.
Mr Taiwo Michael Sunday, Project Coordinator for Involve Africa, told the Nigeria News Agency , that the abandoned school project started with a TETFUND aid, but abandoned since 2013.
“Coming together today is to chart a way forward with every stakeholder involved in this project, the state actors, community-based organisations, State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), TETFUND, Local Government Chairman, Education Secretary and Lagos State Commissioner for Education.
“The project was approved in 2006, and work started in 2013 and the contractors left site late in 2013 and didn’t finish the work, that is why we have this current state of abandonment.
“We have gone far to put these stakeholders’ meeting together to have an interface between state actors and the community who are the ones to benefit from this project.
“We expect that SUBEB takes action and TETFUND brings back the contractors to site and the project completed before the end of this year.
“On completion, we expect to see increase in the enrolment of children of Amikanle into this school,’’ he said.
A School Basic Management Committee Member, Amikanle Community Primary School, Akinbisola Akinyele, said non-completion of the building with pupils and teachers still attending classes in it, poses extreme health and security challenges.
“This school building has been abandoned and they are still using the building for classes.
“It is not conducive for learning because a pupil can jump from the first floor, which could lead to an accident; they are still small and they can’t control themselves unless people are there.
“Aside that, people came six months ago to demolish the only toilet we have here and no structure has been put in place, so, the children are just going around messing up the place.
“There is no water; the borehole is not functioning, while the school’s fence was also demolished,
“We have written series of letters to the Education Secretary of SUBEB and the local government, but there has not been any response.
“We have also written that we want to render assistance but no approval,’’ he added.
The ongoing Amikanle Community Primary School project
The traditional head (baale) of Amikanle, Chief Fatai Balogun, commended all the parties who have played roles in the school project, but pleaded that the project should be completed.
“Concerning the school fence, we have visited the local government council to see the chairman for solution.
“After the road construction, motorcycles started hitting pupils, injuring many of them.
“We went back to the council to request that they deploy people to control motorcycles and vehicles, to check the accidents, but nothing was done.
“We have also asked for day and night guards for the building but nothing was also done.’’
He called for urgent intervention to address the situation.
Another stakeholder, Mr Olajire Damilola, Involve Africa Team Leader for Agbado Oke-Odo, said that he had encountered many challenges trying to push for the completion of the school building.
He advised TETFUND, SUBEB and other parties involved in the project to amicably address the issues to ensure completion of the school complex.
“I am not a direct beneficiary because I don’t have a child coming here, but if this school is completed, many people will benefit from it. There will also be job opportunities for teachers and others.
“This school is at about 70 per cent completion and I advise they should just forget about their distinctive agencies’ differences and put finances together to complete it.
“We need a solution and fast approach to this. In all of these, we have not been able to get the contractor who is executing this project to provide his own information about the situation of things,’’ he said.
Damilola said that discussions were hinged on who would get credit for the building if completed.
“We met with SUBEB, but they said that even if they are to complete this school, in times to come, TETFUND may come in to say they are the one who started the project, our name must be there.
“And it is not possible to have because they both have codes they put on every school.
“While TETFUND is not responding, SUBEB opened their doors for questioning, but they are not ready to take up the project.’’
He also restated the need to start and expedite work on the project because of the dangers posed to children and teachers.
“Look at the situation of this school, no toilet, no water, sometimes when I come here during the week, I see kids dropping faeces everywhere. It should be made conducive for them.
“There are about 600 pupils in this school; everywhere is dusty and it can present all kinds of ailments for the children and even the workers.
“These are tomorrow’s leaders, but they have to be alive to attain those heights. They need a conducive environment to get the quality education they deserve.
“It was during the construction of this road that they demolished the fence; now, hooligans come in to smoke everywhere and for majority of them, this is where they sleep and bring in girls.
“Also, there was a case of attempted kidnapping of a small girl some time ago; it is a security breach and we are meant to protect our children.
“It is the responsibility of every government to be accountable to its people, they should provide security.
“Water is also lacking here. There is no water for them to drink, clean themselves, and observe hand washing hygiene. It is pathetic,’’ he said.
Mr Bayo Adegboyega, an Assistant Director, Project Department of SUBEB, said the TETFUND project awarded in 2013/2014 was stopped in 2016, when the fund discovered that it was using money for tertiary education to fund primary school project.
He assured that measures would be put in place to address the situation.
Ayilara Abiodun, Secretary to the AgbadoOke-Odo LCDA, who represented the chairman, commended the efforts to find solution to the abandoned school building.
She pledged the council’s commitment to ensure the completion of the project and urged all parties concerned to come together to resolve and assist in completing the Amikanle Community Primary School project.
These concerted efforts, according to her, will go a long way in ensuring inclusive and quality education needed to drive sustainable development. (NANFeatures)
**If used, please credit the writer as well as the Nigeria News Agency
Mohammed Aleiro, Kebbi State Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, has announced plans by the state government to integrate 504 Qur’anic Schools into formal education system.
Aleiro made the disclosure at a stakeholders’ meeting on the implementation of the Best Education Service Delivery for All (BESDA), in Birnin Kebbi on Monday.
He disclosed that the state government has made adequate arrangements to facilitate enrollment of about 23, 400 out-of-school children and integration of 504 Almajiri Qur’anic schools into formal school system.
Aleiro said that: “I will like to seek for collaboration of all stakeholders to achieve better education for all in the state, together with our local government council chairmen, things will be better..
“We have discussed with the council chairmen that they should continue to monitor schools in their domains along with District Heads and they should reports to their respective emirs on the situation.”
Earlier, Ms Rafaatu Hamani, the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, noted that stakeholders including local council chairmen, community and religious leaders were widely consulted on the BESDA action plan to facilitate successful implementation of the programme.
Hamani added that the Quranic schools listed for the integration exercise were submitted to the ministry by the religious leaders and other stakeholders.
“In all their views, the money meant for the programme will be utilised according to the action plan,” she said.
Also speaking, Asmau Alkali, the Acting Secretary, State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), reiterated government commitment to reinvigorate the education sector, adding that more schools would be constructed in the state.
Alkali added that: “The state government will rehabilitate more schools, and I want to assure you that the governor promised to listen to all your views and implement it for the benefits of the state.
“We are not calling you here to waste your time; but to share from your experience, we will follow your suggestions to make positive change in the education sector”.
On his part, Abdulmumin Kamba, the Speaker, Kebbi State House of Assembly, attributed the decay in the education sector to the inability of stakeholders to do the right things for positive impact in the sector.
Kamba, who was represented by his deputy, Muhammad Buhari, decried the spate of unqualified teachers in schools adding that: “We should overhaul the system and the issue of corruption must be tackled too”.
Nigeria News Agency reports that the meeting was attended by government officials, legislators, educationists, community and religious leaders in the state.
Edited By: Modupe Adeloye/Rabiu Sani Ali
The Sokoto State Government on Saturday said it would procure N65.7 billion loan from internal financial sources to execute development projects.
The said the loan would be used to fast-track agricultural development, housing, health, water resources, judiciary and service delivery.
Alhaji Mohammed Bello, the Special Adviser on Media to Gov. Aminu Tambuwal, disclosed this in a statement issued in Abuja.
He said that the move was in line with its continuous effort to seek better ways of improving the lot of its citizens.
Bello said that the loan would be serviced in 36 months and would not be a liability to be inherited by its successor.
Commenting, Alhaji Isah Galadanchi, the state Commissioner for Information, said decision to take the loan was the outcome of the state executive council meeting at Government House, Sokoto, which was chaired by the governor.
A beakdown of what the loan indicated that N550 million would be spent on procuring 200 generators to provide portable drinking water in rural areas, while N140 million would be expended on the procurement of water resources implements.
Also, N4 billion would be accessed from the Central Bank of Nigeria agricultural loan facility as a counterpart funding in that regard.
The sum of N10 billion would be sourced to finance the payment of contractors that would execute contracts awarded to them under the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB),
Other projects include N3 billion for the procurement of fertiliser to be sold to farmers at subsidised rate and N5 billion to be sourced for the provision of healthcare facilities within the state.
Other developmental projects that would need loans to deliver them are the state housing project at Gidan Salanke, which needs N1.5 billion, and purchase of cars for judiciary staff at the cost of N320 million.
Others were the organisation and execution of the 2020 Hajj that would require about N1 billion.
Edited By: Muhammad Suleiman Tola
Gov. Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto state has warned the contractors working in the state against delivering substandard jobs.
Tambuwal gave the warning in Sokoto on Sunday at the inauguration of the 2018 Matching Grant Project and Distribution of Intend Letters to successful contractors.
The governor said that the delivery of substandard jobs by any contractor in the state would not be accepted.
“The state government will not and will never accept any job by any contractor that is not up to standard.
“As such, any substandard job by a contractor will be revoked and that person/company will never be considered by the government in future projects.
“I hereby direct the Universal Basic Education Board through its planning department to ensure strict compliance with contract specification,” he said.
He added that the inauguration marked another milestone in his administration’s desire to ensure transparency and accountability in the education sector.
“The flagging off of the 2018 matching grant projects and distribution of intent letters to more than 200 contractors is another success in that direction.
“Conscious of the large population in basic education, the state government has dedicated 26 per cent of the budget to education, which will metamorphose into the construction of more classrooms, provision of more furniture, the procurement of large consignment of teaching and learning materials as well as employment of more qualified teachers and capacity development programmes for the teachers,” he added.
Tambuwal further said that the commitment of the state government toward conducive learning environment is highly appreciable.
“I am pleased to state that from the inception of our administration the sum of over N11.6 billion was expended in the construction of blocks of classrooms, offices, and stores.
“This does not reflect the counterpart funding and intervention cost by UBEC and the Ministry for Local Government of over N7.2 billion and N6 billion respectively.
“Moreover, a total of more than 380 blocks of classrooms and offices were constructed under the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), from 2015 to date,” he said.
He called on parents and traditional leaders in the state to ensure that all children of school age were sent to school.
Earlier, the Chairman of SUBEB, Alhaji Shu’aibu Gwanda-Gobir had expressed appreciation to the governor for the prompt payment of all counterpart funds.
He said that the move had provided the necessary support for the smooth implementation of quality basic education in the state.
Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim
Gov. Samuel Ortom of Benue has approved the recruitment of 5,000 primary school teachers to fill existing vacancies in schools across the state.
Mr Terver Akase, the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, disclosed this in a statement on Thursday in Makurdi.
According to Akase, the recruitment of the primary school teachers will commence this year.
“The Governor has already set up a committee headed by Commissioner for Education, Prof. Dennis Ityavyar, to provide modalities for employment of the 5,000 teachers.
“They must be holders of Nigerian Certificate in Education (NCE) and Bachelor of Education Degrees.
“This is one decision among many others taken by this administration in fulfillment of Governor Samuel Ortom’s promise to strengthen education.
“The Governor believes that the Benue child deserves the very best level of education and to achieve the target, he has decided that the starting point is to raise the quality of manpower we have in the state,” he said.
Akase said that Gov. Ortom had also taken steps to reposition the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), to curb sharp practices in payment of teachers’ wages and redundancy.
He said that the recent tour of some schools by the governor was to ascertain the level of work needed to be done in such schools to make them befitting for academic activities.
He reaffirmed the resolve of the state government to prosecute those found to be diverting the new furniture procured for primary schools across the state for personal use.
He said that the recent upgrade of Akawe Torkula College of Advanced and Professional Studies, Makurdi and Akperan Orshi College of Agriculture,Yandev to polytechnics would enable the institutions meet accreditation requirements set by the National Board for Technical Education.
He thanked the Benue people for the support given to the governor and assured them of better days ahead.
Edited By: Folasade Adeniran and Ephraims Sheyin
The United Nations Children Funds (UNICEF) has urged Federal and State Governments in Nigeria to invest heavily in youths development by ensuring quality education for them.
UNICEF Head of Kano Field Office, Mr Maulud Warfa said this while speaking at a ceremony marking the 2020 International Development Day in Kano.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that the event was organised by UNICEF in collaboration with the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) with support from British Department For International Development (DFID).
Warfa added that it was the first time the day was celebrated in Nigeria adding that Kano and Borno were chosen as pilot states for the event.
He said education has been recognised world over as a major pillar and key to social development, adding that without education the younger generation would miss the future.
“Generally, the young people should be given responsibilities and should be invested upon, so that they would be part of decision making on issues that affect their future and climate change.
“Our message to parents here is that they should also invest in education and not just to produce children that will only be on the streets but children that will take over responsibilities.
“Any state or country that ignores the young children and education will simply become a failure,” he said.
Warfa said visibility is critical and that it is more about future of children and prosperity of the younger generation.
He noted that priortising visibility for children is critical and UNICEF promotes the children and young generations yet unborn.
According to him, children have to be part of the decisions that will affect them globally.
Earlier, the Coordinator of the Girls Education Project, Gep-3 in Kano State, Mr Muktar Ado-Jubril said for the world to achieve prosperity, development of global essence, all issues relating to Girl Child must be given priority.
“Girls are also members of the global planet and they are members of the communities, the world cannot achieve any target, if the girls are relegated to the background,” he said.
Edited By: Gregg Mmaduakolam/Ali Baba-Inuwa
Katsina State Government says payment of the new minimum wage to workers in the state would cost it additional N401 million monthly.
The state’s Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, Alhaji Faruq Lawal-Jobe, disclosed this on Wednesday in Katsina while briefing newsmen on the outcome of the State Executive Council meeting.
He said that the payment of the minimum wage would begin as from January 2020.
Lawal-Jobe added that the payment would cover workers in the state service, local government councils and State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB).
The commissioner pointed out that government had fulfilled its side of the bargain by implementing the new wage and called on the labour to reciprocate through increased productivity.
He further urged the labour and workers to assist government in boosting its Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) to enable it shoulder the responsibility of paying salaries and executing development projects.
“Workers must also ensure that they report to work early and close at stipulated time, to enable government continue shouldering its responsibilities,” he said.
He, however, lamented on the attitude of some tax defaulters in the state, warning that government would soon go after them by forcing them to pay what is due to it.
Edited by: Chidi Opara/Ali Baba-Inuwa
Gov. Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State has approved the appointment of his former Senior Special Assistant on Media and Public Affairs, Malam Abdullahi Danko, and three others as permanent secretaries in the state.
Tambuwal’s Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Mr Muhammad Bello, said this in a statement in Sokoto on Wednesday.
Bello said others appointed as permanent secretaries include Hajiya Amina Jekada, Alhaji Shehu Bandi and Hussaini Gobir.
He said the four newly appointed officials were recommended for the appointments as a result of the existence of vacancies within the state establishments which needed to be filled for effective service delivery.
“In this regard, experienced and hard working officers were identified and found worthy for the appointment as permanent secretaries.
“The action is based on a circular to that effect by the state’s Head of Civil Service, Dr Buhari Kware,” Bello said.
Before the appointments, Jekada, was the Director-General of the state’s Parks and Gardens, while Bandi was the Head of Department of Fine Arts at the Shehu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto.
Also, Gobir was a Director under the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB).
Nigeria News Agency reports that Danko, a 1995 graduate of Education History from Usman Danfodio University, Sokoto rose through the ranks from being a reporter to a director in the state.
Edited by: Abiemwense Moru/Isaac Aregbesola
The Oyo State Government, in collaboration with the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), has selected 66 public primary schools to benefit from UBEC School-Based Management Committee-School Improvement Programme (SBMC-SIP).
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the 66 schools were selected from the three senatorial districts in the state.
This was contained in a statement made available to NAN in Ibadan on Tuesday by Dr Wasiu Olatunbosun, the state Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism.
The statement quoted Dr Nureni Adeniran, the Executive Chairman of the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) as saying that government was doing this as part of UBEC’s new strategy to involve communities in school management.
Adeniran was said to have revealed this while speaking with members of the various School-Based Management Committees across the state in his office on Tuesday.
He enjoined them to adhere strictly to the action plans approved by UBEC and see the opportunity as a mandate to serve their communities selflessly.
The chairman urged management of the benefiting schools to make judicious use of the funds disbursed to them to improve the standard of education in the state, saying that the project was dear to Gov. Seyi Makinde’s heart.
“I urge you to please spend the funds disbursed to you judiciously and on the action plans approved by UBEC, as every kobo spent would be accounted for,” he said.
He warned them to be wary of anyone who might want to extort them, with the claim that Oyo SUBEB management was asking for ‘returns’.
Adeniran said: “Our attention has been drawn to the activities of syndicates extorting money from unsuspecting SBMC members, under the pretence of returns for the management of the board.
“Please disregard such information, as it is false and misleading,” he said.
The SUBEB chairman stressed that anybody fingered in the extortion would be investigated and appropriately dealt with within the ambits of the law.
He described the programme as a boost to the School-Based Management Committee – School Improvement Programme (SBMC-SIP).
According to him, the policy is a strategy that will create opportunities for SBMCs to manage the schools in their respective communities.
He also expressed optimism that the programmes would increase enrolment, retention, completion and transition in the basic education sub- sector as well as help address the challenges of out-of-school-children in the state.
“As we look into ways of addressing the challenges of out-of- school children in the state, it is our belief that this programme will go a long way in increasing enrolments in our public schools.
“The policy will strengthen partnership between our public schools and the communities involved.
“It will further improve the schools and encourage community leaders around those schools to be involved in the planning, management and maintenance of school properties,” Adeniran said.