Abba Dukawa, Kano
Why should society feel responsible only for the education of children, and not for the education of all adults of every age?” Erich Fromm
Never before millions of children been out of school at the same time, disrupting learning and upending lives, especially the most vulnerable and marginalized. In 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic spread across the globe, a majority of countries announced the temporary closure of schools, impacting more than 91 per cent of students worldwide. By April this year, close to 1.6 billion children and youth were out of school. The global pandemic has far-reaching consequences that may jeopardize hard won gains made in improving global education.
No society can develop without proper educational development; therefore, education play vital role in the growth and progress of the society. Consequently, anything serous minded government precise its educational sector as its top priority. Inasmuch as any government wants to break its citizens from vicious ignorance and poverty. Such serious-minded governments are working towards providing its citizen with sound education in all fields of educations as this would help in establishing a well-rounded and stimulating society.
In the 2020 budget, Kano State Government earmarked N52.2 billion for the education sector, this represents 25.32 per cent of the total budget. This effort shows how the administration attach importance to education and Gov Ganduje has assured people of the state of his administrations readiness towards financing education being the bedrock for societal development, saying It is because of the importance the administration attach to the state educational development that the budgetary provision for education is over 26 percent.
In spite of the financial declined Ganduje administration has not relented in its determination toward bequeathing the best of education to Kano citizens at all levels.
It may be recalled, sometimes in 2019, Kano State launched free and compulsory basic and secondary education policy, this was a remarkable lesson that all states in the north should embraced. Before the administration declared free and compulsory education, a two-days Education Summit was held and Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, was among top officials, educationists, scholars and Development partners including DFID, USAID, UNESCO and top diplomats from United States, United Kingdom, UAE, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, graced the occasion.
At the lunching Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje stated that the objective of the summit, which heralded the policy, was to discuss, analyze and generate ideas towards the implementation of administrations’ vision for free and compulsory basic and secondary education.
On the other hand, Ganduje’s administration commitment to the policy was borne out of a promise the Governor made on assumption of office for the second term on May 29, 2019, “to provide free and compulsory education from Primary to Senior Secondary School level”. It is gratifying to note that the governor recognizes the pivotal role of education as the primary agent of change in our society.
At the education summit, Governor Ganduje announced the abolishment of school fees in all public secondary schools with effect from September 2019 and also directed funding of such schools numbering 1180 with a total students’ population of 834,366 at a total cost of about 200 million naira per month or 2.4 billion naira per annum.
Towards achieving the free and compulsory education from Primary to Senior Secondary School level goals, Kano state government integrate Almajiri system of education in order to streamline these schools and integrate them into the free and compulsory education program, the administration also set up Qur’anic and Islamiyyah Schools Management Board.
In view of this daunting challenge of its free and compulsory education at all levels in the state the government set up a committee to conduct a census of all out-of-school children with a view to updating the available data to ensure adequate planning in preparation for the implementation of this all-important education policy.
Regardless of the administrations’ outstanding financial commitment towards executing infrastructural development in the state, Kano like rest of states government in the federation is not immune from financial difficulties following the collapse of crude oil prices which triggered unpleasant memories to all tiers of the governments in the country. Based on this challenge, It has become necessary for Ganduje’s administration to explore other ways to towards funding its free and compulsory education, in its foresight the Kano state government forwarded a Bill (Kano State Education Development (Establishment) Support Board Bill) to State House of Assembly for passage.
The idea behind creating Kano State Education Development (Establishment) Support Board Bill 2019 was in consideration of the many challenges bedeviling the education sector that, included dilapidated and inadequate infrastructure, shortage of instructional materials, dearth of manpower; which is fast constituting a cog in the wheel of progress for the implementation of the free and compulsory education policy. The board is charged with the responsibility of collecting, managing and disbursing funds to public institutions for the overall development of education in Kano.
The fund to be collected, managed and disbursed will come from sources, that include 5% of monthly Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), 2% of the statutory allocation of each local government area, donation from corporate bodies and individuals, endowments, direct or indirect grants and investment returns, among other legal sources. While the distribution of the fund takes the following formula: 17.5% to state-owned universities; 12.5% to other state-owned tertiary institutions under the ministry of education; 35% to secondary school education; 25% to primary school education; and 10% to Integrated Almajiri and Islamiyya education.
Truth can never be silenced, politics aside even those in the opposition appreciates Ganduje’s administration commitments for distributing over N20 million each to Community Promotion Council (CPC) to 44 local governments of the state. If truth must be told, this is a remarkable feat especially at this critical economic challenge coupled with declined income both from federation monthly allocation and internal revenue generation for a state like Kano to be able to distribute over of N880 million to CPC aimed at rehabilitation of primary schools within a period of three weeks.
In the same vain, the state government also paid NECO registration fees for students of public schools in the state as part of the administration’s avowed commitment, government paid over 424 million for a total number of 38,632 students as registration fees to ensure that the less privileged enjoy better education.
Dukawa can be reach at email@example.com