Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State has said the state would declare a state of emergency in the education sector to redeem its embarrassing status as the state with the highest number of out-of-school children.
A report by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) shows that the state ranks highest with 1.3 million out-of-school children.
The governor who lamented the backwardness of the state as one of the former citadels of knowledge, spoke in Bauchi on Wednesday when members of Global Affairs Canada visited him at the Council Chambers, Government House.
“It will be recalled that far back into the First Republic, Bauchi State was reputed as one of the bastions of all categories of educated manpower in Nigeria.
“Unfortunately, that reputation has been blown away and the state has become a byword for educational backwardness; a shadow of its former self. The greatest evidence of this decline is the report by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) that there are 1.3 million out-of-school children in the state – the highest in Nigeria. The performance of the state is nothing to write home about.
“Never again will any child of school age be left behind because of either circumstance of birth or official neglect, We avow, without equivocation, that education is the inalienable right of every child; we affirm; with the emphasis at our command, our commitment to the Millennium Development Goal in education. And we pledge, on our honour, that we shall equitably and judiciously apply every resource and goodwill towards reviving education in Bauchi State.
“Our teachers require training; we need capacity building to churn out good products. Our cut off marks are the lowest and our transition from primary to secondary is the lowest in the country because of the poor quality of teaching. We don’t even have laboratories in our primary and secondary schools. So, therefore, we are going to declare a state of emergency in education,” he said.
By Babatunde Alao…