Principals: Kwara’s investments in education revolutionary

By Stephen Olufemi Oni, Ilorin

Heads of secondary schools in Kwara State have stated that Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq’s achievements in turning around learning environment and improving welfare of teachers are unmatched in the recent history of the state.

The teachers, who also lauded the introduction of KwaraLEARN which they say is truly impactful, added that the administration’s interventions have also been spread across every part of the state in a way never seen before.

The school heads made the commendations on Wednesday in Ilorin, the state capital, at an open engagement the Governor held to feel their pulse on government’s focus on basic education and their welfare across board.

No fewer than 300 school principals attended the meeting along with some key stakeholders from across the education sector in Kwara State.

The teachers, who acknowledged the improvements in their wages and teaching environment, also called on the Governor to consider restoring boarding facilities which died off a few years ago, end the pay disparities between teachers in basic classes and their senior secondary school counterparts which he inherited, commit more funds to laboratories in the schools, and do more to offset the arrears of salaries he met in 2019.

Principal of Ilorin Grammar School, Hajia Abdullahi Muslimat Iyabo, said the school was one of the schools which benefited from comprehensive renovation of schools under Governor AbdulRazaq’s administration.

The school principals advocated recruitment of more science and languages teachers as well as non-teaching staff, provision of more textbooks in core subjects, in-service training for teachers, improved security network of schools.

Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education and Human Capital Development Mrs Mary Adeosun said the Governor has been exemplary in his commitment to education which she said mirrors his passion for the future of the state.

Chairman of SUBEB, Prof Shehu Raheem Adaramaja, described the interactive session as historic in the state, blaming the longstanding disparity in pay between SUBEB and TESCOM teachers on four factors, out of which two have now been resolved.

AbdulRazaq, for his part, acknowledged all the issues raised by the teachers and said the administration remains committed to total turnaround of the education sector so that Kwara can reclaim its place in the north and Nigeria as a whole.

“We have introduced KwaraLEARN programme and I thank you all for embracing the programme. That’s one of the paths to bringing Kwara back on top in Northern Nigeria and the rest of the country. The investment the government and you are making today may not show immediately but it is something that will speak for all of us later in the future. What you are doing is to produce responsible citizens for Nigeria and the world, and we are grateful for that,” he said.

“I have listened carefully to all the issues of promotions, leave bonuses, uniforms in schools, non-academic staff employment, textbooks, harmonisation between TESCOM and SUBEB salary, in-service trainings, seminars, security in schools, unity schools and exchange students within the state, equipping laboratories in our schools, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) facilities in schools, backlog of salaries, girl-child education, encroachment of school properties and building of shops in front schools. These were part of the issues raised today and we will dissect them and take them one after the other.”


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