By Stephen Adeleye
Lokoja – Kogi Government on Friday said it had proposed the employment of 3,700 teachers into public secondary schools in the 2019 state budget.
The Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Mrs Rosemary Osikoya, disclosed this during the oversight visit of members of Kogi House of Assembly Committee on Public Accounts, to her office in Lokoja.
Osikoya said that the ministry did a need assessment of teachers in public secondary schools, and discovered that the state had deficit of science, technical and vocational teachers.
She said that over 80 per cent of the available teachers were Art, Commercial and Religious teachers, which had adversely affected science and technical learning in state’s public schools.
“3,700 teaching staff have been proposed in the 2019 state budget for education, science and technology, particularly for science, technical and vocational teachers.
“Government should spend more on education, pay attention to technical and vocational skills, provide textbooks, give scholarships to motivate students and encourage teachers.
“We took time in 2018 to prepare for a better 2019. We held Education Summit in February 2018, with all the relevant stakeholders in attendance.
“The state government has also approved the re-classification of additional 17 science and technical colleges across the state to complement the existing four.
“This will enable the 21 local government areas of the state to have one science, technical and vocational college each, which we have already identified,” she said.
Osikoya added that Gov. Yahaya Bello, through the approval of the Council, had allocated 15 per cent of the total state’s budget to education, adding that N98 million was approved for students’ bursary.
In his remarks, Mr Ahmed Mohammed, Chairman, House Committee on Public Accounts, said the committee was in the ministry to perform its oversight function for effective governance.
He said that the purpose was to work for the progress of Kogi in line with the agenda and policy of the state government.
He expressed satisfaction with the commissioner’s presentation on the state of affairs of the ministry and her achievements in 2018, and promised the committee’s support for the ministry.
Mr Ahmed Musa-Odudo, Chairman, Sub-Technical Committee on Public Accounts, said that the ministry was free of any indictment in the 2015 and 2016 review, saying no sanction for the ministry.