By; Amos Mathew, Kaduna.
Kaduna State Government has said that the Students Exchange Programme, SEP in the North is faced with challenges such as lack of adequate qualified teachers, dilapidated structures and poor funding of SEP schools by the state government among others.
The Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Professor Andrew J. Nok said this at the 16th meeting of Commissioners of Education of the 19 Northern States participating in the Students Exchange Programme (SEP).
He stated that poor health facilities and non-remittance of annual dues also affects the success of the Programme as well as the performance of students in external examinations including WAEC and NECO.
While he noted that the meeting seeks to formulate operational guidelines as well as take decision on issues that affect the smooth running of the programme; he stressed that the objectives of the SEP includes to afford students at their tender age the opportunity to be exposed to the culture, food, prospect and activities of other parts of Nigeria other than their States; make the students independent and willing to leave away from their home states and to promote academic excellence and maintain high level of discipline among others.
The programme he added has become more useful not only for strengthening national unity and integration but for prodding platform for discussing the numerous challenges facing education in the Northern states and the country at large.
In an interview, the Commissioner of Education in Nasarawa State, Mrs. Ramatu Ajuji Abubakar urged the northern states to continue to encourage infrastructural development, and provision of free education.