In a bid to boost school enrolment, the Borno State Government has concluded arrangements to introduce conditional cash transfers to parents enrolling their children and wards in schools to revive education in the state. Cross section of pupils in class during holiday.
The State’s Commissioner for Education, Mr Inuwa Kubo, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Maiduguri.
According to him, the state government is determined to revive education in the state, through conditional cash transfers to parents enrolling their wards in schools.
“Any parent, especially those in remote parts of the state, who willingly enrol their children in school, would be paid a certain amount of money as an incentive.
“Also, parents that enrolled a girl-child in school will get higher payment than those who enroll boys.
“The state government has taken full responsibility for the education of the orphans. If we fail to care and educate them, they will certainly become the dreaded Frankenstein monster that will rise tomorrow to consume us all – it could even be worse than Boko Haram,” he said.
The educationist said that 28 senior secondary schools were destroyed and public schools were forced to close down for two years after Boko Haram’s ceaseless attacks in April 2014. He said the destruction of public schools by insurgents in nearly 10 years was a major setback to the education sector in the state.
Kubo said that the government had not relented in reconstruction of schools, especially in safe locations in addition to mega schools that were being built to cater for the orphans, who might not be able to return to their ancestral homes.
Also speaking with NAN, the Chairman, State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Alhaji Shettima Kullima, said that school enrolment has been on the increase following relative peace in the state. He said that in Maiduguri and other liberated communities 623 public primary schools have recorded nearly 90 per cent enrollment for 2018/19 academic session.
According to the chairman, 142,589 males and 132, 288 females were enrolled during the recent exercise in the primary schools, while 46,930 males and 40,131 girls got admission into post basic schools.
The chairman said that the government rehabilitated, reconstructed and equipped nearly 1, 346 schools with furniture aside provision of instructional materials to ensure enabling learning environment.
On his part, Malam Isa Gusau, the Special Assistant to Gov. Kashim Shettima on Media and Strategy, said the Federal Government, Non-Governmental Organisations and International Development Partners had been collaborating with the government to rehabilitate the education sector.
The governor’s aide said the state government had given approval for the recruitment of 2,000 teachers for the 40 newly completed schools. Gusau explained that 800 of those to be recruited would teach science subjects and English Language.
He said that additional 1,000 persons including former school principals, retired teachers or civil servants would be engaged as volunteer teachers, while 200 holders of Nigeria Certificate of Education (NCE) would be given permanent appointments.
He added that the government would carry out the recruitment through partnership with the World Bank and the European Union. However, Ibrahim Ustaz, a teacher, stressed that the education sector was the primary target of the insurgents, which had resulted in near total collapse of education in the state in 2014. Ustaz quoted the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) as having said more than 360 teachers were killed beside 34,000, who were displaced.
“Most of the teachers and their families became Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), while dozens of schools were destroyed. We are all victims of attack. I was attacked while imparting knowledge on students in Mafoni Primary School here in Maiduguri”, he said.
Another teacher, Mai Mala, corroborated the
views of Ustaz by describing insurgency as the worst incident that has happened
in the sector because the terrorists had always insisted that western education
should not be acquired. Mala said parents and children were forced to abandon
their homes to live in IDPs’ camps with little or no hope of returning due largely
to fear of the terrorists. “The Boko Haram menace led to the shortage of
teachers in the state and this also accounted for the large number of
out-of-school children,” he said.