As a way of demonstrating its commitment to the educational development of Kwara State, the State Government said sufficient budgetary allocation is now being given to the education sector, according to the state Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq.
The governor who spoke recently in Ilorin at the opening ceremony of the Kwara Education Future Summit said the budgetary allocation exceeded 25 percent of the yearly budget which is the benchmark of UNESCO for funding the education sector globally.
Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq said further at the summit which theme is “Securing and Investing in the Next Generation, that it is clear that the government cannot fund education alone.
“Huge gaps still exist. For instance, our recent school census across four local government areas shows that 41 percent of our teachers are absent at their duty posts. “No single teacher was seen in 54 of the 368 schools sampled, while 23 percent of students on head teachers’ records, were not in school during the census,” the governor said.
According to the governor, out of the schools sampled, 15 percent do not need repair while 85 percent of the classrooms require various forms of rehabilitation.
“The picture is bleaker when you consider availability or adoption of technology in our schools.
“The gender parity index for the ratio of girls to boys in our schools is another source of worry,” he added.
AbdulRazaq added the goal of his government was to make public schools the first choice for all, in terms of the quality and relevance of infrastructure and teaching staff in the digital age.
“So, we need everyone on board. We do not have all the answers.
“We certainly do not have enough resources that will provide the right environment for every Kwara child to thrive in the new world, irrespective of their social standing.
“My team and I, believe that sustainable development can only be anchored on a solid education.
” This is why my first preoccupation in office had been to check the state of our schools.
“It was a sorry tale. The basic education had simply collapsed. We got down to work immediately. Two years down the road, my team and I are proud to report that the situation has changed,” the governor said.
AbdulRazaq said his administration had restored relationships with key partners after years of being blacklisted.
“We have reshaped public perception about teaching, by engaging the best minds into the system.
“Work is ongoing in some 600 basic schools to give our children a befitting learning environment,” he added.
According to the governor, the government is building a legal framework to support the efforts.
“We now have a bill for a law to establish Kwara State Education Trust Fund.
“When passed, this fund will supplement the sector’s finance, promote technologies and leapfrog the sector’s development through our Kwara Education Transformation Agenda (KWETA) plan,” AbdulRazaq added.