By Waheed Adewale

Governor Uba Sani has begun a quiet revolution in the education sector in Kaduna State. Believe it or not, Governor Sani has taken a bold and commendable step in securing the future of those we like to call ‘tomorrow’s leaders’ in Kaduna State. It all began a few months after he took office. He had expressed concern over the state’s 680,000 out-of-school children and pledged to reverse the trend. It is commonly said that the government that will serve the people well, usually starts with an open and undisguised demonstration of empathy, love and concern to the people by the head of the government. Once that is in place, the administration will be driven by that sense of empathy to fashion out policies and take decisions that will meet the people’s needs and aspirations. It was, therefore, not surprising that in the last one year, the Governor Sani administration has built 2,326 new classrooms to accommodate a total of 93,040 pupils. It is doubtful if there is any other state governor who has achieved this feat in terms of making efforts to keep education on the front burner.

Speaking last week when he commissioned the newly constructed and furnished two storey blocks of 24 classrooms at Basic Education Primary School, Rafin Guza, which is the second most populated primary school in the state, Governor Sani reiterated his commitment to upgrading education infrastructure in the state. The school has a pupil population of 7,326, and it is only second to Basic Education Primary School, Lokoja Road, Rigasa in the Igabi local government Area of the State. Governor Sani, who was represented by his deputy, Dr. Hadiza Balarabe, in the commissioning of the two storey building, said: “This administration has placed a high priority on revamping dilapidated classrooms and up-scaling our teachers to foster better human capital outcomes for our state. We are acutely aware of the transformative power of education. It has elevated the statuses and economic privileges of countless individuals and continues to be a beacon of hope and progress for even marginalized people and communities.

“For us in Kaduna State, education has ceased to be the privilege of a select few, it is the right of every child in the state. Under the leadership of Senator Uba Sani, we have embraced the noble mission of safeguarding the educational opportunities that have empowered successive generations. Education opens doors, breaks down barriers, and paves the way for a brighter future. In fact, the profound benefits of education cannot be over-emphasized.

“Primary education, in particular, is the cornerstone of children’s development. This government is doing everything within its means to ensure that every child is enrolled in school, remains in school and receives a quality education. Our efforts are evident in the construction of 2,326 new classrooms so far, which comfortably accommodate 93,040 pupils.

“Additionally, we have provided 30,742 two-seater desks, seating a total of 61,484 pupils to ensure that our students learn in comfort and dignity. These schools are also equipped with hygienic toilets and hand pumps for potable drinking water, underscoring our commitment to a holistic and healthy learning environment.

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“Today’s commissioning ceremony is not just about the inauguration of physical structures. It is a celebration of our shared vision for a future where every child, regardless of background, has the opportunity to reach their full potential. It is a demonstration of our belief that through education, we can build a stronger, more equitable, and more prosperous Kaduna State,” the Governor said. It is very gladdening to note some important talking points in what the governor has said above. First, that no child would be left behind in the effort by the state government to ensure that formal (primary) education is made available and almost compulsory for children in the state.

Second, that nothing else will play a role whatsoever in determining who has access to primary education in the state other than readiness to key into the program of the state government.  In other words, parents can no longer justify the withdrawal of their children from school or forbidding them to register for any reason. And most importantly, having defined and clearly articulated the importance of education to any society, the governor, it appears, would do anything within his power to ensure that the recognition of literacy as a catalyst for mental development, social freedom and independence is not truncated.  

Interestingly, Governor Sani’s revolutionary drive in the education sector is not limited to primary education only. It extends well into secondary and tertiary education. During the period under review, his administration embarked on massive construction of new secondary schools. Happily, critical stakeholders in the state are throwing their weight behind the governor’s initiative to reduce illiteracy to the barest minimum in the state. For instance, the elders in the state, cutting across religions, professions and geographical divisions have vowed to support the governor’s efforts, emphasizing that the importance of education in curbing insecurity and building a brighter future cannot be over emphasised. It is, therefore, safe to suggest that with the buy-in of the critical stakeholders in the state, the success of the education revolution is assured.  

Governor Sani has amply demonstrated that no stone would be left unturned in ensuring that all school-aged children in the state receive quality education. He underscored this through proactive measures undertaken by his administration to advance this cause. One of such measures includes the significant reduction of tertiary tuition fees, aimed at broadening access to education for all citizens of Kaduna State. An interesting aspect of Governor Sani’s commitment to education is the fact that he recognizes the challenges faced by adolescent girls in accessing and completing secondary education.  They include socio-cultural, financial, and infrastructural constraints. Particularly in rural areas, the transition from primary to junior secondary school presents a significant hurdle for many girls, often leading to dropout.

He adopted a policy which prioritizes the enrollment of poor and vulnerable girls into junior secondary schools and creating conducive learning environments through the provision of essential facilities such as wash facilities and clean water, crucial for ensuring the comfort and well-being of girls while in school. By providing the necessary incentives such as improved school infrastructure, digital literacy, and life skills training, Governor Sani is actually seeking an opportunity to rewrite completely the uninspiring stories of poor education besetting the state into a positive and thrilling one.

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