Kebbi State Governor, Nasir Idris, says his administration has within its first eight months in office spent over N9billion in repositioning education.

He disclosed this at the flag-off of the National Campaign on Out-Of-School Children in the Geo-Political Zones in Nigeria held in Birnin Kebbi on Tuesday.

A statement signed by his media aide, Ahmed Idris, and made available to our correspondent said the governor explained that the sum was spent on the construction of classrooms, provision of motorised boreholes and hand-pumps, construction of toilets, provision of furniture, renovation of dilapidated classrooms as well as provision of textbooks and writing materials.

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The statement read, “2,000 teachers were trained to improve their pedagogic competence for effective teaching in schools, adding that six mega schools were being constructed to provide access to education by Almajiris and other categories of out-of-school children in the state.

“717 Post-Basic Literacy Centres were established across the state for post-basic literacy programme for the Almajiris that had already undergone basic literacy programme under Better Education Service Delivery for All.

“BESDA programme, Kebbi State recorded tremendous success in terms of enrolling the different categories of out-of-school children into schools through the instrument of non-formal learning centres.

“Not less than 3,945 learning centres were established comprising Almajiri, Girl-Child and Nomads Children and more than 500 learners have been enrolled in a basic literacy programme.

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“This has let Kebbi attain an enviable position amongst the 17 BESDA participating states in terms of achievement of rewards.”

In his speech, the Minister of State, Education, Dr Yusuf Tanko-Sununu, urged the Kebbi people to appreciate the new administration by supporting its policies and programmes and rendering good advice that would take the state forward.

He appealed to individuals and groups to key into the national campaign on out-of-school children and other issues related to education “as government alone cannot do it.”

Tanko-Sununu advised the state government to establish a strong foundation by constructing more classrooms and recruiting more teachers to make it easy for the Federal Government to come in and assist.

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The minister urged the governor to ensure the recruitment of professional teachers who duly registered with the Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria.

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While applauding the governor for increasing allocation to education in the 2024 budget, the minister also advised him to talk to traditional rulers in the state to see how teachers’ respect would be restored.

The Director of Basic Education, Federal Ministry of Education, Dr Falake Olatunji-David, said the programme was the third phase of the several interventions embarked upon by the ministry to ensure a substantial reduction in the number of out-of-school children in Nigeria.

She lamented that a recent study shows that Nigeria accounts for one out of every five out-of-school children in the world and 45 per cent of out-of-school children in the West African sub-region.

The director appealed to spirited individuals in the state to aid the less privileged in the community by adopting the children and youths “who are of school age and supporting the education of such.”

In December 2023, the governor flagged off the construction and upgrade of 120 secondary schools across the state valued at N8.9bn.

Speaking at the ceremony which was held at Bubuche in Arugungu Local Government Area, the governor said the gesture was meant to reposition the education sector in the state.

He explained that the programme, which was under the Adolescent Girls Initiative for Learning and Empowerment in collaboration with the World Bank and Dominat Engineering Limited aimed at promoting the education sector by providing a conducive learning environment for children.

“This flag-off will occasion the constitution of new schools designed to upgrade 120 schools from primary school to junior secondary and junior secondary to senior secondary schools under AGILE,” he said.