By Ado Hassan, Sokoto
Hon. Shuaibu Gwanda Gobir, Chairman State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Sokoto on Wednesday said the the state government has stepped up efforts under its Better Education Services Delivery for All(BESDA) to ensure the accommodation of Out of School Children (OOSC) in the state as well make teaching profession attractive.
” We are targeting 75% reduction so that we would comfortably drive our vision for qualitative and standard basic eduction system in the state.
” Our education sector is under emergency measure and we have to do the needful to revive standards especially at the primary level”, the SUBEB Chairman said.
Speaking in Sokoto, Gobir disclosed that already it has discovered over 264,000 out of school children across 10 local government which BESDA had earmarked for its pilot programme.
According to the SUBEB Chairman” part of our target is to incorporate existing Islamiyya schools into the conventional education system such that we will provide a facilitator/teacher in English and Mathematics to teach the pupils for an hour after their Islamic session.”
According to him, the board had also mapped out a responsive measure to encourage better teaching services as well check the mass exodus of basic education teachers from the profession to other perceived lucrative jobs.
” We will look into their promotion, salaries, welfare and all necessary tools that would encourage their stay for the future of our children who especially are out of school so as to improve on enrolment “, he explained.
He further disclosed that contract for the renovation, rehabilitation and construction of over 300 primary schools with capacity to accommodate 50 pupils each across the state had been awarded to that effect.
” We have outlined a number of measures with adequate provisions and arrangements to improve standards in our primary schools in terms of teaching aid, materials, books, uniforms among others to accommodate OOSC as well their retention.
” If we don’t pay adequate attention to those children who are out of school, their future will remain bleak and uncertain with multiplying and consequential negative effect to the society. They could grow and become threats to peace and security in the state and nation as a whole”, he raised alarm.
Gobir also advocated the reintroduction of Teachers Training College which he explained would provide the basics for standards at primary level of education while expressing concerns at how basic public schools support programmes were neglected.
” Take a look at the annual budgetary allocation from the Federal to states, adequate consideration is not given to basic education. Emphasis are given only to tertiary institutions and largely at the expense of public schools (Primary and Secondary”, he pointed out.
The Board Chairman hitherto, disclosed that plans were in the pipeline to facilitate motorcycle soft loan for primary schools teachers in the state especially those in remote areas to ease their movement to work against difficulties and lateness.
” We are arranging to meet with the state NUT and Education Secretaries after which we will engage a contractor for the supplies”, he added.
Similarly, Gobir assured that prompt payment of primary teachers salaries would be sustained while explaining that delays experienced in the past were not from the board but banks.
” I was told that there was 6 to 10 days delay in payment of some teachers salaries which prompted me to intervene and instructed immediate release by the banks. I don’t know for what reason”, he rhetorically asked