UNICEF challenges Kano to sustain free education
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has challenged Kano State Government to ensure adequate funding to sustain the free and compulsory basic and post-basic education in the state.
UNICEF’s advocacy came when pupils’ enrolment in the state hit about 3.8 million in less than two years of the free and compulsory education programme.
Chief of Field Officer, UNICEF, Kano Office, Maulid Warfa, made the observation during the two-year assessment programme on the enforcement of the policy at Government House, Kano.
The UNICEF boss, who adjudged the policy direction on compulsory education as genuinely conceived, however, declared that the success of the programme depended on political will.
Warfa lamented the increasing population of almajirai on the streets of Kano, positing that proper integration of the children in the compulsory education system would drastically reduce their influx in the city.
He advocated provision of healthcare system and social amenities as part of the programme, to properly integrate the children into western living and education.
Pledging UN’s commitment to enhance the implementation of the policy, he added: “[Last year] being the year of COVID-19, several millions of people were down with the virus in the world, and about 2.9 million people died from the complications. Children were not left out among the vulnerable.
“In Kano, the impact is devastating, especially on the almajirai children. The government has collectively taken the right decision to integrate the vulnerable children into the free education system. But for us to celebrate the policy, there is need for legal framework to strengthen the policy, as well as adequate funding to sustain it.”
Governor Abdullahi Ganduje, who expressed determination to accomplish the policy, warned parents and guardians against evasion of the programme.
The governor declared that government dedicated five per cent of its Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) and one per cent of federal allocation, beside the counterpart funding from the Universal Basic Education (UBE), to fund the free and compulsory education programme.
Commissioner for Education, Muhammad Kiru, earlier disclosed that government had recruited teachers and provided textbooks to public schools for smooth implementation of the policy.
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