From Maduabuchi Nmeribeh, Kano
Kano state Governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje has expended over N1.6 billion on renovation of schools across the state in his effort to sustain the policy of free, compulsory primary and basic education in the state.
Ganduje who flagged off the second phase of school renovation project across the state under the auspices of Community Promotion Council (CPC) put at the cost of N800 million, expressed satisfaction over the completion of the first phase of the project which cost aboutbN880 million.
He said the gesture was part of the determination of his administration to fully and impressively implement the state policy on free and compulsory primary and secondary schools education with integration of Almajiri schools system.
The intervention is expected to spread across the 44 Local Government Areas in the state.
The report was presented to the Governor by the State Chairman of Community Promotion Council (CPC), Abdullahi Ya’u ‘Yanshana, at Coronation Hall, Government House, Kano.
Ganduje insisted that, “education is our first priority. That is why we are not relenting in our effort in this area.
“We are up and doing in our observance of Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) policy of counterpart funding UBEC and the State Basic Education Board (SUBEB). We paid 100 percent in 2015, since we came to power, so also in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 up to 2020, we gave out our counterpart funding 100 percent.
“So also in 2021 we paid some part of it. That is why UBEC has been able to pay us their own counterpart funding. That is why we are able to do what we are doing now and what we did before. To show you how serious we are in this respect and all other areas of governance.”
He maintained that, Kano state being the most populous state in the country, the state has more public schools than any other states in the country.
“We have more pupils and more students in our public schools than in any other state of the federation. So also we have the highest number of enrollment,” he added.
Governor Ganduje further stated that, when the state declared free and compulsory primary and secondary schools education and reforming of Almajiri schools, “we all assured ourselves that implementation of this policy is a task that must be accomplished.”
According to him, his administration embraced the free, compulsory basic and secondary education policy to make sure that education becomes accessible, affordable and sustainable with full community participation, “hence the establishment of Community Promotion Council.”
Ganduje acknowledged that for the policy of free, compulsory basic and secondary education to thrive, “you must have one, two or more challenges. But we evolved strategy to tackle the challenges.
“Because we need to also consider our budget. For example, instead of United Nations provision of 25 percent budget allocation for education sector, here in Kano it is 26 percent budgetary allocation for the state.”
Part of the strategy as he explained, included the establishment of Education Trust Fund, Education Contribution Fund and Community Promotion Council, among others.
In his remarks the Executive Chairman of SUBEB, Dr Danlami Hayyo outlined some of the feats achieved by Ganduje administration, which included: construction of 1,396 classes from 2015 with the sum of over N8.2 Billion; construction of 356 compartment toilets; fencing of 25 schools to avoid encroachment with over N200 Million; construction of 116 boreholes; renovation of 589 schools with over N1 Billion; and purchase of 90,809 chairs worth over N2.5 Billion.
He added that, “before, our enrollment of school pupils was 1.5 Million and after the declaration and implementation of free and compulsory education we have over 4 Million. We have staff strength of over 70,000 and our salary runs up to over N3 Billion as salary for our teachers monthly.”