Sokoto enrols 75,650 out-of-school children into schools ― Tambuwal
Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto State has revealed that the state government has enrolled nothing less than 75,650 out of school children into schools.
The governor also disclosed that the state established 1,513 learning centres to cater to the children. He stated this on Tuesday at the launching of the Better Education Service Delivery for All (BESDA) at Government House, Sokoto.
The breakdown, according to him, indicates that there’s been an enrollment of 31,100 boys and 44,550 girls as well as an improved literacy rate of 60,159 children in 1,513 learning centres across the 23 local government education authorities in the state.
Gov. Tambuwal said this is an effort to increase equitable access to out of school children, improve literacy rate and strengthen accountability in basic education.
The governor, who also explained that a total of 1,513 facilitators were engaged and trained to handle the centres set up, said material such as mats, mobile whiteboard, markers, magnetic dusters and uniform for the learners were procured and distributed.
He also stated that in order to encourage mothers to play their role in mobilising girls child to go to school, mothers associations across the state were reactivated with 15 members trained from each local government area. These were in turn given the opportunity to step down the training at the community and the centre levels.
The governor maintained that the state government selected desk officers for the 23 Local Government Authorities in order to curtail child molestation or any form of abuse.
He enumerated that the State BESDA team focuses on 8 Local Government Education Authorities (LGEAs) considering that other development partners are already supporting some selected LGEAs in that direction. These include the Northern Education Initiative Plus (NEIP) which is supporting 5 LGEAs. The remaining 8 LGEAs currently supported by BESDA are Binji, Bodinga, Goronyo, Illela, Kware, Silame, Sokoto North and Tureta.
Tambuwal added that the literacy programme is being implemented in 629 primary schools across the LGEAs with a total of 60,159 participating grade 1 pupils.
The governor further added that emphasis is given to the training of major stakeholders so as to develop their skills and capacity to deliver effectively in a classroom situation.
Tambuwal added that a total of 981 mentors, coaches and teachers have been trained in early grade reading skills, even as 125,394 copies of pupils textbooks and 5, 076 teachers guides on Hausa and English: ‘Mu Karanta’ ‘and ‘Let’s Read’ respectively, were procured and distributed to schools as well 213,000 learners copies and 4,260 facilitators guide were procured and distributed.
In the area of system strengthening and accountability, Gov. Tambuwal said the state has successfully carried out the 2018/2019 annual school census while the 2019/2020 estimate is in progress.
He explained that laptop computers were purchased and distributed and a BESDA data bank has been established across the 23 LGEAs while the review of the state medium-term basic education strategic plan 2017-2019 and 2020-2021 has been done.
According to him state government has built and provided teachers and learning materials for over 100 Qur’anic model learning centres in communities across the state under the Consultative Committee for Educational Development led by Sultan Of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar. The centres instruct Almajiris in Quranic and Western learning skills.
In his address, the minister of state for education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba appreciated the federal government for initiating BESDA.
He also gave kudos to the World Bank for providing credit for the sum of US$611 million to support the Nigerian government in strengthening Universal Basic Education as well as addressing the first pillar of the ministerial strategic plan which is out of school children.
According to the minister, the programme focuses on 17 states in the country which include the entire 13 states of the North West and North East geo+political zones, Niger, Oyo, Ebonyi and Rivers states. The selection of these states, he explained, was based on the prevalence of the number of out of school children.
He said since inception, the BESDA programme has successfully enrolled 1,053,422 out of the previous figure of 10’193,918 out of school children in Nigeria.
Nwajiuba lauded the effort of Sokoto state government on its giant stride in the education sector in the state.
In his remarks, Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar represented by Wazirin Sokoto, Professor Wali Junaidu also commended the state government for prioritizing education in the state.
According to him, Sokoto state has performed wonderfully in the field of education adding that a lot has been done in the interventions carried out under the chairmanship of Sultan Abubakar as chairman of the state consultative committee on education.