Gombe – The Minister of Education, Chief Nyesom Wike, has said that the Federal Government has completed 64 out of the 89 Almajiri schools in the country.
Wike said on Tuesday in Gombe that the schools, constructed in different parts of the country, had been handed over to the affected states.
The minister disclosed this in an address at the opening ceremony of the 10th Quarterly Meeting of the Universal Basic Education Commission’s (UBEC) management.
The meeting is being held with the executive chairmen of the States Universal Basic Education Boards (SUBEBs).
Wike said that the remaining 25 schools were at various stages of completion at their sites.
He said the Federal Government envisaged that the state governments would ensure the eradication of street begging and retain Almajiri pupils in the schools.
Commenting on efforts to provide the girl-child with education to address the issues of equity, he said five out of the 13 girl-child schools under construction had been completed.
The minister also said the Federal Government would soon commence the construction of basic vocational schools for out-of-school boys in the South East and South South parts of the country.
According to Wike, contracts were awarded for the construction of e-libraries in 62 federal unity colleges while 32 of the projects had been completed.
In his address, the Acting Executive Secretary of UBEC, Prof. Charles Onocha, said efforts were on to address the challenges of shortage of qualified teachers at the basic level.
Onocha said as a result, 105,788 teachers applied for the Federal Teachers Scheme Screening Test in 32 states and the Federal Capital Territory in August.
He said that after selection, 400 of the applicants would be deployed to primary schools and 100 would be sent to junior secondary schools in the participating states.
Gov. Ibrahim Dankwambo of Gombe State said among other achievements, his administration had so far spent N5 billion on basic education school facilities in the last two years.
Dankwambo explained that government embarked on the rehabilitation, renovation, reconstruction and construction of new model schools in Gombe, Kumo, Bajoga and Deba.
He said that new ones would also be constructed in Dukku, Balanga and Shongom local governments.
The theme of the meeting was “Towards Improving Teacher Quality at the Basic Education Level in Nigeria.The Imperative of Continuing Teacher Professional Development.”
A communique is expected to be issued at the end of the meeting on Wednesday.(NAN)