Stakeholders urge Kwara govt to tackle rot in education sector

The Civil Society Action Coalition on Education For All (CSACEFA) and other stakeholders in Kwara has urged the state government to overhaul the education sector in the state.

The stakeholders, who made the call on Tuesday in Ilorin at a programme marking the Global Action Week for Education (GAWE), said the system and the existing facilities were in decay.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the forum presented a documentary on the state of facilities in the education sector.

Hajiya Nimat Labaika, the North -Central Coordinator of CSACEFA, said the group was depressed with the deplorable state of facilities in public schools in the state.

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Labaika explained that the visit of the civil society group to the nooks and crannies of the three senatorial districts in the state showed that the sector needed immediate reform.

“This is not what we are supposed to experience as far as Kwara State is concerned. Kwara should have moved to the next level by now.

“We all agreed that we need to overhaul the education sector and in view of this we are coming with a communique which will serve as a working tool,” she said.

The coordinator also stressed the need to make quality education free and accessible to children.

“Education of our children is a right and not a privilege and every stakeholder must do the needful.

“Most of the schools visited lack teachers, infrastructure, toilets and furniture. Some of the teachers are not qualified and our pupils are congested in classrooms,”  Labaika said.

Another member of the group, Malam Abdulrahman Ayuba,  urged the government to abolish PTA levy in school, describing it as a “monster.”

According to him, there is a need for a new order in the education system of Kwara to make it compete with other states of the federation.

Ayuba, who wondered why the school feeding programme was yet to take off in Kwara, also called for the implementation of the Disability Act in the state so as to provide inclusive education for all children.

He also urged the state government to recruit teachers and post them to the rural schools with some incentives.

Mrs Funke Bolaji, who also supported the provision of rural teacher’s allowance suggested recruitment of more teachers for rural schools from qualified indigenes of the host communities.

Mr Nureini Sarafadeen, the Executive Secretary of Ifelodun Local Government Education Authority, said that there was a need for a roadmap for the education sector in the state.

Sarafadeen also observed the need to re-engineer the three Colleges of Education in the state to produce qualified teachers.

Mr Rasheed Maiyaki, the Secretary of the state council of the Nigerian Union of Teachers(NUT), advocated the prompt payment of full salaries, training and retraining of teachers and provision of infrastructure as a way of ensuring a thriving education system.

Responding, Alhaji Ibrahim Onimago, the Permanent Secretary in the Kwara State Universal Basic Education Board (KWSUBEB), asserted that some of the challenges were within the range of teachers in schools.

He added that KWSUBEB could handle some of the challenges while others were policy issues that could only be handled at the State Executive Council level.

Onimago said that payment of salaries and provision of infrastructure were policy issues that he could not respond to.

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Onimago also said that while some teachers were not qualified, others were not committed to the job

He urged the NUT to set out an internal mechanism to monitor its members.

On the school feeding programme, the Permanent Secretary blamed paucity of the fund on the side of the state to pay 10 per cent counterpart fund for why the programme was yet to start in the state.

He, however, noted that all the challenges were contained in a position report to be presented to the incoming government, saying that the present administration had done its best.

The theme of the programme was: “My Education; My Right(s).”

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