By Abiodun Esan
Ilorin Kwara Government says its plans to reconstruct 31 dilapidated schools across the state.
Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq made this known in Ilorin at the flag-off of distribution of exercise books to public schools in the state on Thursday.
AbdulRazaq said over 100 public schools across the state were in dire need of reconstruction, adding that government was starting with 31 schools.
“Like they say, the journey of a thousand mile starts with one step, so we are starting the first step with 31 schools.
“All our major schools are in deplorable condition which is nothing to write home about,” he added.
He commended teachers in the state for their commitment to work in spite of the deplorable conditions of schools.
He promised to look into the requests of teachers in the state, adding that government cannot respond to all requests in one day.
“We thank you for staying on the job and doing your best for the students, for the students, we wish that you have met a better system, something to build on,” he said,
“From 2013, nothing much has been done, you only need to go to our schools; basic things like walls, water and sanitation are not there.
“The number of students per classroom, some classrooms in Ilorin that I went to had about 100 students in a class, how can students learn in that condition?
“For the students to pick up, they have to cheat, that is why we have the WAEC issue which we are putting behind us very quickly,” he added.
AbdulRazaq said the state would organise a robust Education Summit to refocus and have direction on the best way to move forward.
He said that the money to be used for free education was not what was being used to rebuild the schools.
“Those who have not visited our institutions will not understand what I am talking about until you visit our schools to see the conditions of the schools.
“I implore Parents/Teachers Associations, Old Students Associations to do their best for their schools,” he said.
AbdulRazaq said the state has paid its counter-part fund to the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), to enable it access funds to renovate and reconstruct public schools.
He said the state had not been able to access UBEC fund because the contract awarded since 2013 was not completed.
“We are trying to meet up with the plan, because what is delaying us is that contracts that were awarded in 2013 needed to be concluded and certify before we have full access to the fund.
“Hopefully, this year we will commence accessing the funds to improve our public schools,” he said.
He said that the state’s accumulated fund in UBEC was over N7 billion, adding that the future of education in the state was bright with the N7 billion pending.
“We want to restore Kwara education to its premier position in Northern Nigeria,” AbdulRazaq added.