FG lauds Plateau Gov for putting into use abandoned girls model schools
THE Federal Government has lamented that many of the over 100 Junior Girls Model Secondary Schools built across the country are in ruined and abandoned by some state governments.
Governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong, was, however, commended for being the first Governor to put to full use the four Junior Girls Model Secondary Schools constructed by the Federal government in the state.
Executive Secretary, Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), Dr Hamid Bobboyi, spoke in Jos, the Plateau State Capital during the weekend while on advocacy and monitoring of projects executed by the Commission in the State.
Bobboyi, who was represented by the Deputy Executive Secretary, Dr Yakabu Gambo, was received by the Chairman of Plateau State Universal Basic Education Board (PSUBEB), Professor Mathew Sule. Malam Bello Mohammed Kagara, Director, Social Mobilisation, and some management staff of UBEC were on the entourage.
The schools were built by the Federal government during the last administration of President Goodluck Jonathan through the 2014 special intervention programme of UBEC and handed over to states to manage as part of efforts to reduce the high rate of out-of-school children as well as bridge the gap of a boy and girl-child education in the country.
The UBEC boss said the current administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, concerned with the development, ordered the State Governments to utilize the structures in the best interest of the Nigerian child.
He said the advocacy visit to states was to further encourage the state governments to make good use of the structures already provided to boost school enrollment as well as see where the Federal government could intervene in addressing some of the challenges faced in the schools.
He noted there were about five volumes of documentation of locations, and pictorials of the Commission’s projects across the states of the Federation for verification, saying the first state happened to be the Plateau State.
Bobboyi commended the Plateau State for being the first state to respond to the earlier directive by the Federal government to put the structures in the states to use.
He recalled that at the last quarterly meeting in Lagos, there were clarion calls from stakeholders for other states to emulate the Plateau example, especially in the utilization of Junior Girls Model Secondary Schools.
The delegation was impressed that two out of the four schools in Plateau State was already running full boarding system while the other two are running day school system because of some constraints.
The schools running boarding system are Junior Girls Model Secondary School, Zaron, Ladi LGA, with 225 students and Junior Girls Model Secondary School, Baltep, Mikang LGA, with 169 students.
The Chairman of PSUBEB, Prof. Sule, said he was happy to receive the delegation from the Commission to monitor and evaluate the buildings and facilities executed in the state.
He noted that Plateau state was the first to put the Junior Girls Model Schools facilities into use, saying this and many other initiatives by the State Government has led to over 3.1 per increase in school enrollment in the State.
He appealed to the Federal government to ensure that the children in those schools were provided with the best conducive environment that would enhance effective teaching and learning.
Prof. Sule disclosed that the Board has also done a periodic inspection of the schools, and many of the challenges have been highlighted by the team that toured the schools.
He listed some of these challenges faced by the schools to include structural defects, lack of water, electricity, security, fallen PVC ceilings, and science equipment among others.