By Hussaina Yakubu
Kaduna – Kaduna State Government says it remains committed to ensuring that every child in the state benefit from its free education programme.
The state Deputy Governor, Dr Hadiza Balarabe made commitment on Thursday in Kaduna when she received a delegation from Teach for Nigeria, a Non Government Organization (NGO) focused on improving education outcomes in Nigeria.
She said that the government has allocated the education sector the highest percentage of the 2020 budget, in line with its commitment to offer all children, including the girl child, access to qualitative education.
“Primary education is very critical, we need to get that level right with something that they can hold on to, no matter where they might find themselves,” she said.
“Our major priority is human capital development, I am glad that we have this partnership with you.
“We are looking to develop prosperous, healthy people and having decent standard of living, and what you are doing is very important to us in achieving this objective that we have set for ourselves.
“We are getting every child to benefit from the free education with special interest to girl child, and what you are doing in Kaduna state is very important for us.”
“We are looking forward to working with the Teach for Nigeria and the additional 100 fellows to be sent to the state while thanking them for supporting government efforts in that direction,” Balarabe said.
On her part, Folawe Omikunle, Chief Executive Officer Teach for Nigeria, said they were in the state to appreciate the state government for being the first in Northern Nigeria to embrace its programme of mobilizing and raising new generation of teacher leaders.
“We came into the region in 2018 and we signed a partnership to recruite 2000 fellows over the next five years.”
According to her, the programme is about recruiting outstanding young individuals from universities and young professionals.
“We get them to teach for two years as full time teachers, but beyond teaching we get them to understand the fundamental issue in the education eco system.
“During those two years of their teaching and long after that, they begin to change the system as change agents
who have the full understanding, the insight, experience and the solutions to transform the system.
“We model a program that exists in over 50 countries across the world and who are all doing incredible work through social innovation.
“To remain in school systems as leaders working across nutrition and health and also understanding what it will take and the barriers to take off to ensure that every child has access to quality education.”
Omikunle explained that in Kaduna state they have started with 88 Fellows in 2018 who are teaching across primary schools.
“Our mission and vision is to ensure that one day, every Nigeria child has access to quality education.”
She said the organisation would continue to mobilise leaders who will drive the movement towards educational equity and excellence in Nigeria.