The Acting Governor of Kaduna state, Dr Hadiza Balarabe, has said that the Malam Nasir El Rufai administration invests in education as a major pillar of human capital development.

Dr Hadiza Balarabe further said that it is the present administration’s desire, ‘’that no child of school-age should be left behind on account of lack of access or money.’’

The Acting Governor reiterated this resolve at the flag off of the distribution of free learning materials to Basic Education Schools in Kaduna on Wednesday.

She pointed out that the distribution of free learning materials will strengthen the educational base of children who attend public schools in Kaduna state.

Dr Baralabe who was represented by the Special Adviser on Human Capital, Malam Sagir Balarabe, however said that ‘’before today’s flag-off, we have been providing uniforms and books to our students. ‘’

‘’For instance, in 2019 government purchased books worth N302m for our public schools as part of the free education policy of the state. It is hoped that with this flag-off this program will be more structured with defined roles for all stakeholders in our education sector,’’ she added.

The Acting Governor argued that flag-off of the distribution of free education materials ‘’is an important component of our 12 years free and compulsory education programme in Kaduna state.’’

Dr Balarabe pointed out that as part of the 12 years of free education, Kaduna state is ‘’ providing free school uniforms and free school feeding to children in public primary schools.’’

According to her, the present administration has also ‘’ renovated over 500 public primary and secondary schools and provided parameter fences in many schools as required by United Nations agencies for the security of our children.’’

‘’New schools have been built including new science secondary schools, and many blocks of classrooms in primary and other secondary schools across the state,’’ she added.

The Acting Governor further said that the ‘’Better Education Service Delivery for All (BESDA) and Primary Education Development Projects have ensured construction of more classrooms at the primary school level so as to accommodate the return of out of school children to classes. ‘’

The government of Malam Nasir El Rufai has raised raised school enrolment by over one million from inception in 2015 to date, she disclosed, adding that the number is still rising .

‘’As important as classrooms and physical structures are in creating conducive learning environments, lack of access to books pose an even grater challenge to learning.

‘’Therefore, our free book policy is to increase access to textbooks, exercise books, sandals, sharpeners, pencils, erasers school bags and magnetic boards.

‘’We know that poor children cannot afford these on their own especially with high costs traditionally associated with the production of especially children books,’’ she reiterated.

According to Dr Balarabe, ‘’studies have shown that when poor children are exposed to books early they learn to read better, and therefore the more children have access to books the more likely they would do better in learning and education. ‘’

The Acting Governor noted that the quality of instruction is very important in determining the educational outcomes of our children, vowing to ‘’ continue to weed out unqualified teachers in public schools.

‘’ Children of the poor also deserve competent teachers and it is our sworn responsibility to ensure that they get it. No amount of distraction shall stop us,’’ she added.

Dr Balarabe who said that government alone cannot bear the burden of education, called on other stakeholders ‘’ come in with more commitments if we are to make any meaningful progress. ‘’

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