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Kano gives scholarships, N20m to Borno IDPs


Alhaji Abdullahi Umar Ganduje

UNICEF decries lack of education for N’East children

Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State has awarded survival scholarships to 100 children orphaned by the nine-year Boko Haram insurgency in the North East region of the country. He made the announcement at the weekend in Maiduguri when he led a delegation to donate 100,000 blankets and N20 million to the displaced persons in several camps across Borno State.

Handing over the relief materials to his Borno counterpart, Kashim Shettima at the Government House, Maiduguri, Ganduje noted: “The gesture is part of our policy of reaching out to counterpart states in dire needs. ”

He said the award followed the earlier scholarships extended to a set of 100 orphans adopted by the Kano State government in 2013.His words: “This is a modest message from the good people of Kano State to our sisters and brothers in this insurgency-affected state of Borno.

“It is also part of our continued commitment as a government and people of one of the most populous states in the country to always reach out in times like this.“We came here in 2013 and took 100 orphans whom we are currently sponsoring in one of the model schools of global standard. We are taking care of all their needs and ensuring that they acquire both western and Islamic education. We are not only giving them education but we have also adopted them as true indigenes of Kano State.”

However, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) says children have continued to entertain the fear of either being abducted or killed as they are recruited as suicide bombers, thus denying them access to education. It noted that the insurgency in Borno and Yobe states had separated families.

The UNICEF Chief Field Officer in Borno, Geoffrey Ijumba, at a symposium entitled, Endorsing a learning culture of protection, safety and resilience in Borno and Yobe schools in Maiduguri, said the Fund had achieved its targets under the Children of Peace Project. He regretted that one in every two children in the North East does not attend school.

His words: “If we compare primary school attendance ratio in the North East to that of the South East, only 46 per cent of children of primary school age children attend school while 88 per cent attend in South East.” Ijumba revealed that attendance figures were worse for girls in the North East, saying the situation was unacceptable. He hinted that the UN agency, state Universal Basic Education Boards (SUBEBs), the University of Maiduguri (UNIMAID) and relevant stakeholders could do more to reverse the trend.

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Abdullahi Ganduje
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