…says 10 million children out of school
…as Taiwan govt exchanges tech experience with Reps
By Levinus Nwabughiogu
Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State has said that his government has put various measures in place to protect school children against attacks and abductions.
This came as the Taiwan government shared possibilities of technology transfer with Nigerian lawmakers.
Speaking when he received the Professor Julius Ihonvbere-led House of Representatives’ Committee on Basic Education and Services that is presently touring in the country, beginning from the South-West in exercise of their oversight functions in the education sector, Governor Fayemi also bemoaned the state of school infrastructure in the north.
He said the level of dilapidation witnessed during his recent visit to schools where abductions took place in the northern part of the country was disappointing.
Stating that his government was putting perimeter fencing to protect children in Ekiti schools, Fayemi who is also chairman of Nigerian Governors Forum, NGF also called for the amendment of the UBEB Act to mandate state governments to provide counterpart funds before accessing their grants.
The Governor said his administration was consistent in accessing the Universal Basic Education Commission Counterpart funds due to its prioritization of education funding in its budgetary considerations.
He said: “In our State , Ekiti, we are doing everything humanly possible to protect our children in schools. Apart from fencing the schools, we are also providing all that will keep them safe while in school.
“We have accessed the Universal Basic Education Commission counterpart funds from 2014 to 2020. We are doing our best because Basic Education is the basis or foundation for our children who are the future of tomorrow.”
Noting the negative impacts poor infrastructure has on the security and quality learning, the Governor said that the episodic attacks have also revealed the vulnerability of the schools and have shaken the confidence of parents, jeopardizing efforts to drive up enrolment and reduce the disturbingly high number of out-of-school children.
“I was ashamed to see the level of dilapidation in those schools. Honestly, we are talking about out-of-school children to be 10 million. This kind of situation is irresponsible”, Fayemi said.
A statement by the media aide to Hon. Ihonvbere, Ben Ogbomudia, made available to Journalists stated that the Committee Chairman who also represents Owan Federal Constituency of Edo State reiterated the importance of basic education as the key to protecting the future of the country.
Ihonvbere said that the drive of the National Assembly was to ensure national commitment to upgrading the quality of learning across the country with direct and consistent engagement of all levels of government.
The Chairman added that the House Committee had previously visited Lagos and Ogun States for the same course.
Similarly, the Committee visited Taipei Trade Office in Ikoyi, Lagos.
The statement added that the visit was to ensure a smooth technology transfer from Taiwan to Nigeria as part of cushioning effects to aid Nigeria out of the economic recession.