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A Local Government in Kano is Fixing Its Juvenile Out-of-School Problem

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On the road, in the marketplace, and in other strategic locations in Kano city, hundreds of school-age children are always around engaging in street hawking or begging during school hours.

Needless to say, this is a contributing factor to the about 20 million out-of-school children in Nigeria as Kano tops the list with 989,234 children according to a UNESCO report, despite the free and compulsory education policy in the state.

But here is the good news: Ungogo Local Government Area in the state saw this as a worrisome challenge and decided to fix it gradually.

Its Chairman, Dr. Abdullahi Garba Ramat leveraged the council’s share of the N880 million recently disbursed by Governor Abdullahi Ganduje for the renovation of primary schools across the 44 local governments of the state.

Rumawa Primary School is one of the schools that benefited from the grant, with eight newly constructed classrooms, offices, furniture, and other aesthetic equipment in the local government area to get the children off the street.

“We built four blocks for the school, and each block contains two classes, making it eight classrooms. We also provided chairs and desks in all the classrooms to make learning conducive for the students,” he says.

Students Delighted with School's New Look

The facility is now a turning point for pupils who had once studied under tough atmospheric conditions due to the dilapidated structure before the Ungogo Local Government’s intervention.

In 2019, a seven-year-old, Yusuf Ya’u Abdullahi was sitting on a bare floor in an open field where stones were used to separate their classrooms, but now there is a new dawn for him and his schoolmates.

“Before, we learned under the sun, and school closed as soon as it started raining. But thanks to the state government we no longer experience this as they built a new school for us.

“And, as you can see, we no longer sit on the floor because they provided chairs and desks for us.”

Usman Ushe’u, a father of seven, never intended to enroll his children in school due to the poor learning condition at Rumawa School.

They're now among the influx of new enrollees at the school.

“Before, I refused to take my children to the school due to the hard learning conditions, but when they built the school for the community, I put seven of my children there,” he says.

The Parents Teachers Association (PTA) chairman at Rumawa Primary School, Sulaiman Umar, confirms that the school now has over 700 pupils.

“Now, people from neighboring local governments are enrolling their children in the school. Right now, we have over 700 pupils in the school.”

Even though the Rumawa Primary School appears conducive to learning, the Ward Head of Rumawa, Zaharadeen Saleh Ibrahim, is worried about the lack of a perimeter fence and a borehole in the school.

“Yes, we have eight classrooms, but the school is yet to be fenced. A borehole was installed in the school too, but it is not working.”

The local government chairman, Dr. Ramat promises to address the issues soon.

“Yes, the school is yet to be fenced, but we have plans to fence the school. We will also repair the borehole for the students,” he says.

There are other challenges. Rumawa has just three permanent teachers and five voluntary ones, despite having over 700 students.

Data made available by the Kano State Ministry of Education shows there are just 59,238 teachers to 4.7 million students in the state’s public schools.

This translates to a 1:80 teacher/pupil ratio against the stipulated 1:40 teacher-pupil ratio by the National Policy on Education.

This story is supported by Nigeria Health Watch, through the Solutions Journalism Network, a nonprofit organization dedicated to rigorous and compelling reporting about responses to social problems.

visit: solutionsjournalism.org for more


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