Ado Hassan, Sokoto
NORTHERN Leaders were on Wednesday blamed for neglecting primary education in the region.
The blame which came from Reading and Numeracy Activity (RANA), a Department for International Development(DFID) noted that the leaders have over the years exhibited passive and absolute lack of commitment to the development of basic education in the region.
Making the remark in Gusau, Zamfara state capital during a reading festival organised for primary school pupils on reading and numeracy activity, the Project Coordinator of RANA, Dr Mikhail Ibrahim noted that the region has been thrown to the back seat as a result of neglect of its basic education.
He said the scenario has further deepened the challenges posed to the region’s education sector and general development.
” Their lack of seriousness, concern ans support has affected all aspects of basic education in terms of infrastructure, standard and quality teaching”, he pointed.
Ibrahim explained that it was in view of the need to redress the ugly trend, that RANA initiated a three-year programme for using mother tongue as language of instruction in primary 1-3 in Zamfara and Katsina states while stressing that
the project was designed for public primary schools with the goal of improving literacy and numeracy outcomes for learners, especially girls by developing Hausa language teaching and learning materials, build teacher capacity, mobilise communities as well as engage local government councils.
His words: “The RANA programme will bring a sustainable direction for the improvement of child’s knowledge through the use of mother tongue towards improvement in literacy.
“The programme is approximately affecting 200 schools that will involve 5000 children and 800 teachers and head teachers from Katsina and Zamfara states.”
He described Zamfara state as role model in ensuring the success of reading and numeracy for learners in primary 1-3 in the federation.
Ibrahim to this end, commended the Zamfara state government for creating awareness and strengthening the activities of reading culture among pupils in primary schools in the state.
Also in his remarks, Chairman of the Zamfara State Universal Basic Education Board, (ZSUBEB), Alhaji Murtala Jangebe, commended the efforts of the initiators of RANA programme, partners and banks for their sacrifice and commitment to the improvement of child literacy.
He said the Board was committed to the initiative and success of the RANA programme.
He promiaed that the state government will support its continuation towards the improvement of primary education and service delivery across the
Similarly, the Executive Secretary of Universal Basic Education Commission(UBEC), Abuja, Dr. Hammed Bobboyi, applauded the initiators of the competition and assured of UBEC’s commitment and support towards achieving the success of the programme aimed at improving the quality of education among children in Zamfara.
However, participants at the reading featival competition include children between the ages of 9-13, who received prizes ranging from cash, trophies and other valuable gifts.
Nasmatu Aminu from Gusau local government area received the overall gift after defeating many contestants to clinch the first position.