Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf of Kano State declared a State of Emergency on education on Saturday. He also announced the employment of 5,632 teachers under the Better Education Service Delivery for All (BESDA) program, a World Bank initiative aimed at increasing equitable access to education for out-of-school children in Nigeria and improving literacy in focus states.

During the event, Governor Yusuf emphasized the critical importance of education for the state’s progress and prosperity. He stated, “As your elected Governor, entrusted with the solemn responsibility of steering our state towards prosperity and progress, I cannot ignore the glaring reality that confronts us in the realm of education. Education is our number one priority, and we believe that it is not only a public good but also the greatest asset any people can bequeath to its upcoming generation. No people can grow beyond the quality and standard of their education system. Therefore, we must take radical but practical measures to reposition education provisioning in our state.”

Governor Yusuf highlighted the alarming number of out-of-school children in the state, currently at 989,234. He noted, “Our beloved state is witnessing an alarming proliferation of out-of-school children, a situation that threatens to rob an entire generation of their right to education and a brighter future. The statistics are grim, and the faces of these children, devoid of the promise of learning, haunt us as a collective failure.”

He also addressed the deplorable condition of school infrastructure, stating, “Our schools, which should be sanctuaries of knowledge, discipline, and growth, are in a deplorable state. Dilapidated infrastructure is a common sight – roofs caving in, walls crumbling, and classrooms that can no longer provide a safe and conducive learning environment. The lack of instructional materials further compounds the problem, leaving our teachers and students struggling with outdated and insufficient resources.”

Governor Yusuf revealed that over 4.7 million pupils are sitting on bare floors during lessons, and approximately 400 schools have only one teacher for all classes and subjects. He criticized the previous administration for neglecting these issues, saying, “Rather than building more classrooms and providing basic furniture in the schools, as well as hiring more teachers, the administration we took over from chose to butcher the land belonging to those schools, in some places demolishing classrooms to create space for shops. Those schools that they could not sell, they closed down and got them vandalized.”

He provided a detailed overview of the state’s educational infrastructure, mentioning that Kano State has 7,057 primary schools, 1,148 junior secondary schools, 813 senior secondary schools, and 49 science and technical schools. However, only 22% of the 42,516 classrooms in these schools meet basic standards of habitability. Governor Yusuf declared, “Nearly four out of every five classrooms in our primary and junior secondary schools are marred by dilapidation and disrepair, rendering them unsuitable for the noble pursuit of knowledge. Today, I stand before you to announce the declaration of a State of Emergency in the education sector. This extraordinary legal measure allows us to take bold steps to address these critical challenges swiftly and effectively.”

Furthermore, Governor Yusuf announced the reopening of all public boarding schools that were closed by the previous administration of former Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje across the state, signaling a renewed commitment to restoring and improving educational facilities in Kano State.

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