By Mohd Auwal
Kano state government has disclosed that it requires whooping sum of N60 billion to provide furniture to over 9,063 public primary and secondary schools in the state.
Alh. Umar Haruna Doguwa made this known while receiving officials of UNICEF Nigeria, Kano Field office, led by Mr. Rahama Rihood Mohammad Farah, in his office.
The computation was arrived at following the distressing situation in which the present administration found the education sector, necessitating the state governor, Engr. Abba K. Yusuf, to direct the Ministry of Education to conduct an assessment of the furniture needs of the schools, to enable the government plan a special intervention for them.
His words: “We found out that majority of the 5.2 million children in our schools have no chairs and desks. In fact, during one of my inspection visits, I found a school, Dawanau Special Primary School in Dawakin Tofa local government area, with 5, 618 pupils all seated on the floor! You can see how bad the situation is”.
Apart from lack of furniture, other problems facing the schools include lack of infrastructure, resource materials utilities and teachers, as well as the issue of out of school children, culminating in a totally collapsed education system.
“I was emotional when I personally visited some of the schools. I visited a school with over 500 children, which has only one staff who serves as the Head teacher/teacher. This should not be the case in any progressive society”. He lamented.
Alh. Umar Haruna emphasized that Kano has a unique challenge in the sector of education because of the level of deterioration the sector and the state’s huge population, stressing the need for development partners and well meaning citizens to support the state government towards putting in place far reaching reforms in the sector.
The Commissioner, however, urged development partners to align their priorities in education with those of the state government, to address critical challenges in a systematic manner and to avoid duplication of interventions.
Earlier, the Chief of Field office – UNICEF Nigeria, Mr. Rahama Rihood Mohammad Farah, to renew UNICEF’s commitment to working with the state government and to highlight the agency’s education partnership priorities, including supporting the development of a 4 – year Education Sector Plan for the state, reducing out of school children and providing alternative learning.