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Kano government lobbies development partners to revamp education

Kano has about 20 million people, which is about or bigger than the population of some countries.
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Kano state government has requested for more support from development partners to revamp the education sector in the state.

The State Commissioner for Education, Alhaji Umar Haruna Doguwa made the appeal during a visit to Smart School, Tarda, constructed by the Federal Government and equipped by Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and meeting with officials of PLANE, a Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office, FCDO, funded project, supporting basic education in the state on Thursday.

During the visit to the Smart School in Tarda, Alhaji Umar Haruna maintained for Kano to catch up with the ongoing trend of shift to knowledge economy globally, the state will need the assistance of donor agencies.

“Kano has about 20 million people, which is about or bigger than the population of some countries. We have several challenges on the ground but we must not be left behind in using education to develop our economy. In this regard, we need the support of KOICA and similar agencies to forge ahead.

“The challenges in Kano’s sector of education are many and as a government, we cannot solve them alone. We should not allow insignificant differences to affect our progress as a state, the state is far more important than our differences. We, therefore, must join hands and with the support of development partners, we can achieve our educational goals.”

The Commissioner thanked the Korea International Cooperation Agency for equipping the Smart School with digital teaching and learning tools, and for sponsoring selected teachers for a three weeks training in Korea.

This, he stated, would go a long way in strengthening Nigeria-Korea friendship and in complementing the present administration’s efforts towards revamping the state’s standard of education.

He promised that the goodwill extended by KOICA would not be abused.

In his remarks, the Country Director, KOICA, Prof. Sungil Sun, said he was impressed by the commitment of Kano state government towards managing the Smart School, highlighting that of the six states where the agency is supporting such schools, the one in Kano is the best so far.

He also expressed satisfaction that the headmaster of the school, Malam Maikudi Al-Alawi has shown uncommon commitment in running the school.

The Country Director explained that with this development, his agency looks forward to expanding cooperation with Kano state government.

Also, Doguwa assured that his ministry will not allow its image to be dented by misappropriating funds channelled to develop education in the state by donor agencies during his meeting with officials of PLANE.

He said the government’s non-interference in donor funds will not only boost the confidence of development partners but also increase the chances of the state to benefit from additional support.

According to him, “the government will not touch your funds and you will be allowed to apply them within the agreed rules. Donor funds must be reflected on the environment, people need to see what you and the government are doing, so they that their confidence in governance will be restored.”

Doguwa reiterated that education is the priority of the Abba administration, promising that the government’s budget for 2024, will clearly spell out its commitment in that direction.

The Commissioner, however, requested donor agencies working in the education sector of the state to synchronize their activities, to avoid duplication and to allow for funds to be channelled to priorities.

In his remarks, the State Team Lead, PLANE, Malam Umar Lawan explained that their project was a seven-year programme focused on supporting the government to implement policies and programs on basic education, with emphasis on girl-child education.

“We are working in 11 local government areas, supporting 1,112 schools, 4, 059 teachers and 338, 970 students,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Doguwa has cautioned contractors handling the construction of four bilingual colleges in the state to ensure that the November 2023 deadline for the completion was met.

He said the call became necessary to enable the state access more funds for development from the Islamic Development Bank.

Islamic Development Bank had approved a financial facility to support bilingual education in some states of the country, including Kano.

The support would help bridge the gap between formal and informal education the Nigeria, within the bilingual education programme. It will also support the government to integrate and modernize Almajirai and Tsangaya schools.

During an inception of the bilingual college site at Sabon Garin Doguwa, in Doguwa local government area, the Commissioner lamented that the project execution was slow, largely because the human and material resources on site were not adequate.

He, therefore, directed the contractor to mobilize fully to the site, fence the college compound to ensure adequate security, and improve the quality and pace of the work.

At Kiru bilingual college site in Kiru local government, the Commissioner was pleased that the contractor had mobilized fully to site and that the project had reached an appreciable level of completion.

Doguwa commended the contractor for the commitment shown in handling the work, assuring that the state Ministry of Education would give him the required support to finish the work on or before schedule.

The Commissioner then instructed the director in charge of Physical Planning in his Ministry, to convene a meeting of the contractors and other key stakeholders on Thursday, to discuss and deal with any obstacles that may threaten the prompt completion of the projects.

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