By; FUNMI ADERINTO, Kaduna
The Deputy Governor of Kaduna State, Dr. Hadiza Sabuwa Balarabe, on Friday reassured of the state’s commitment to provide access to decent education for every child in the state.
Dr. Hadiza Balarabe, made the statement while delivering a keynote address in Kaduna at the opening of State Education Sector Retreat with the theme: “Towards Achieving all Inclusive Education in Kaduna state”, which was held at the NUT conference Hall, in Kaduna.
She said it has become apt to assure access to decent education. “I want to make a special plea to all of you to kindly internalize this quote by Steve Kagen “If we get public education right, everything else will follow.
“But if we get it wrong, not much else will matter” because I believe it mirrors the very essence of the work that we have been saddled with.”
According to her, Kaduna State Government in its quest to get it right with education, has over time, made some very challenging and critical reforms in the education sector which have impacted on quality learning for children.
Dr Hadiza emphasised that, they will continue to uphold this commitment in human capital development which has education and health as the two most important barometers of its measure.
“This has been adjudged to be a key prerequisite for a country’s socio-economic and political transformation.
“We have been given the tools and conducive environment, to change this narrative, we need to improve both the quality and quantity of education and truly make it the means of developing our children’s greatest abilities, as Bill Gates once said, ”the best way to improve lives is to improve public education”.
Adding that, “this administration is spirited in its efforts towards promoting equality of opportunity by raising the standards of public education to be same across both private and public schools.
“We have made primary and secondary education free and compulsory in the state because, education is the great equalizer of the conditions of men and the balance-wheel of social machinery.”
The Deputy noted that, “Kaduna State Government, has a strong focus on improving the management and efficiency of the education sector as evidenced by the establishment of the Kaduna State Schools Quality Assurance Authority (KADSSQAA).
“This authority, along with the monitoring and evaluation units of the ministry, SUBEB, LGEAs and parastatals are tasked with ensuring progressive and tangible improvement in the quality and efficiency of education service delivery and consequently, learning outcomes.
She further said governments policy of putting people first, making lives better, cannot succeed without the dedication and unflinching support for human capital development as it pertains education, because you it is at the forefront of interpreting and implementing such policy decisions.
“The Task of improving the quality of education in Kaduna State is enormous. Better school administration, good buildings and facilities, first-rate teaching standards, appropriate teacher training, and clear career paths for education professionals will all contribute to ensuring better opportunities for children.”
She said, they will continue to commit, sustain gains that have been recorded through interventions instituted by strategizing for regular reviews, to identify any gaps and challenges that may have arisen and plugging them accordingly.
Explaining further, she said, “Ministry of Education, you hold positions that are critical to achieving this administration’s aspirations of repositioning public education because education is known to be the tool that empowers people, and helps them to realize their full potentials.
“I expect that after this retreat, when you return back to your offices, you will feel reinvigorated, have new zeal and zest to face the task of rendering excellent services to the people of Kaduna State.”
In his welcome address, Commissioner Ministry of Education, Dr Shehu Mohammed expressed appreciation to the state government for giving more priority to education and given the lion share to the sector in the 2020 budget.
He said, this shows serious commitment in the reviving and revitalizing of the sector at all levels.
“Meaning that they will tell us what we are and not us telling them what we are”, he emphasised.
He further expressed desire and commitment to work as partners in the sector to ensure greater success and improve in the sector.
According to him, they are setting up an indicator to evaluate self at the end of this year and 2023.
He reiterated the need to deliver as expected and promised to improve on what they are doing.
“We are going to access capacity and performance, in all the sectors and department.”
In her goodwill message, the Director Centre for Girls Education Zaria, Hajiya Habiba Mohammed, advised that the education sector should always work with partners in order to sustain strategy put in place to improve on the sector.
She said there was need to collectively collaborate with NGOs, Civil Society Organisation and religious leaders to ensure that no girl is out of school.
She noted that, training and retraining will serve as key in ensuring effective and quality teachers.
According to her, strengthening of science education for girl-child will help in getting more health workers.