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Quality of Kaduna public schools will soon be above private schools ― Commissioner

THE Kaduna State Government has on Wednesday, disclosed that it has a blueprint to upgrade public schools above private schools.

Speaking at a two-day Acceleration Conference on SDGs in Kaduna, Ja’afaru Sani, state Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, said the government had concluded plans to improve the quality of education in public schools as part of efforts to ensure human capital development.

Sani, while noting that no society progresses without paying due attention to human capital development, said the state government had shifted emphasis to science, technology and innovation to build the needed human resources for socio-economic development.

The two-day conference was organised by the Kaduna state government to strengthen partnership with local and international partners for effective implementation of SDGs.

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Sani, however, blamed the poor state of education in the state to poor quality of teaching and learning in public schools due to the rot in infrastructure and poor quality of teachers.

According to the commissioner “We have gone far in renovating and equipping our public schools; 500 completed, about 1,200 are between 70  to 80 per cent completion and we will continue till all our schools are renovated and well equipped.

“We have rid our primary schools of unqualified teachers and employed 25,000 qualified ones and recruitment of 760 qualified teachers for secondary schools is ongoing,” he said.

Sani, said that the state government was equipping libraries, constructing and equipping laboratories and workshops in public schools to ensure practical skills.

“Our goal is to upgrade public schools to be at the same level with private schools if not higher in terms of quality of teaching and learning,” he said.

The commissioner said that efforts were being put in place to ensure that students in the tertiary institutions were equipped with practical skills needed to fill the skills gap in the areas of science and technology.

On her part, Hajiya Hafsat Baba, Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, said that the state government had rolled out various interventions designed to improve the livelihood of women and children.

Baba said that 5,000 women have so far benefited from the N200 million provided to support women to establish or expand their businesses.

She said that the state government was making effort to carry along women, children and people with disabilities who were often left behind in governance.

Mr Kelechi Ohiri,  Health Strategy and Delivery Foundation, urged the state government to increase investment in health and education.

He said that no nation can tap its demographic dividend without focusing on the health and education of its population.

Dr Mojisola Odeku, Nigerian Urban Reproductive Health Initiative, stressed the need for family planning to allow for proper care for the populace and equipped with developmental skills.

Dr Rex Mpazanje of the World Health Organisation noted that investment in human capital development pays more than investment in infrastructure.

According to him, achieving SDGs in Kaduna State would largely depend on the attention given to human capital development.

Earlier, the state’s Deputy Governor, Mr Barnabas Yusuf  Bantex, said that the state government remained committed to the success of the SDGs, adding that the Local Government Councils have been strengthened to deliver development at local levels.

The deputy governor called on development partners working in the state to join forces with the state government in ensuring successful implementation of the SDGs.

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