The formation of the Kano State SERVICOM-Citizens’ Groups Partnership on Education Service Delivery aimed at engendering collective action for education service delivery in Kano state is being facilitated by the UK Department for International Development’s Partnership to Engage, Reform and Learn (PERL) programme
There are over 30 million out-of-school children across Sub Saharan Africa and one-third of that figure, over 10 million, is in Nigeria, according to UNESCO. And as well as being the most populous state in Nigeria, Kano also has the highest number of out of school children in Nigeria.
The state is home to about 3 million out of the 10.5 million out of school children in Nigeria and it is now obvious that the challenge of access to education is so enormous that no state government in Nigeria can solve it alone. Not even the federal government can do so, in fact, no government alone in the world is capable of sufficiently meeting the educational need of its people, hence the saying: “Education for all is a responsibility for all”.
This is to say for states like Kano to be able to significantly reduce the numbers of children roaming the street instead of going to school; the citizens must come in to support the government towards achieving equitable and inclusive access to quality education for all, in accordance with Education 2030 Agenda of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“Considering our huge population and the fact we have up to 3 million children that are currently out of school in Kano state even though the state government is trying its best to reduce the gap we need assistance from every citizens of the state and even those from outside of the state to solve the challenge,” says Umar Kibiya, a permanent member at the Kano State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB).
Kibiya was speaking last week in Kaduna during a 2-day workshop on establishing baselines and monitoring mechanisms for education sector plans organized by the Office of the Kano State Head of Service and the state’s ministries of education and budget and planning.
The workshop was organized with the support of the UK Department for International Development’s Partnership to Engage, Reform and Learn (PERL) programme; a five-year public sector accountability and governance programme, in collaboration with other development partners like Mercy Corps, and Fitila.
Kibiya, who said the Kano state government was spending up to N3 billion a month to pay its about 50,000 teachers’ salary alone, added that even if the state’s entire resources will be channeled to the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), the funds might not be able to solve the basic education challenge, completely.
“I always say that education for all is a responsibility for all; everyone must come on board, people from the business community, philanthropists, religious scholars, and all citizens of Kano must come and support education development in the state. This is why our door is always open to development partners from within and outside Kano interested in supporting the education sector. We cannot do it alone,” he confesses.
Danlami Garba, permanent secretary at the Kano State Ministry of Education, Science and Technology agrees. He said the Kano State government was committed to working with the state’s citizens towards addressing the state’s most pressing educational challenges.
“The Education 2030 Agenda of the Sustainable Development Goals is aimed at ensuring access to inclusive, equitable and qualitative education for all and the issues we have identified and are now trying to address which are to do with poor teacher quality, congestion in classrooms and adequate teaching and learning materials are consistent with the Education 2030 Agenda; we will respond to the issues around access, quality and lifelong learning,” pledges Garba.
While speaking on the critically-important role the citizens, community and private sector could play in addressing the most pressing issues militating against service delivery in the education sector in Kano state, the permanent secretary applauded the huge successes recorded by the various Education Promotion Committees (EPCs) set up by the Governor Ganduje-administration in the state and across its 44 LGAs.
“The idea of the School-Based Management Committees (SBMCs) was to bring community into the business of education delivery; they are supporting the government. Recently, we again established the Education Promotion Committees (EPCs) at the state level and down to local government areas to ensure schools are supported by parents and members of the community,” reveals Garba.
He said the Kano state government had in 2016 provided the various EPCs at the local government level with seed money of 440 million naira (10 million naira each), adding that the EPCs have gone ahead to collectively execute educational projects worth over 800 million naira, within just a year.
“So, we are now trying to consolidate the gains of the SBMCs and EPCs, since the community is beginning to take ownership of education and we will do everything possible to ensure this model works and make it replicable by other states of Nigeria, since Kano is a pacesetter in education innovation in Nigeria,” pledges Garba.
Speaking on behalf of the citizens constituencies at the workshop, Abdulrazaq Alkali, the coordinator of the Organisation for Community Civic Engagement (OCCEN), a Kano-based civil society organization described discussions at the workshop as successful adding that progress was being made in terms of achieving effective service delivery in Kano state’s education sector.
“The citizens’ group is committed to monitoring and tracking the action plan for the education sector in Kano state, we are going to organize a philanthropy mapping to support Servicom to do its Public Private Partnership mapping to mobilize resources for the education sector. We have to ensure partnership between the government and citizens so that citizens can monitor what is going on within the education sector,” says Alkali.
The idea behind the workshop was for PERL to gain the commitment of different government agencies to agree to work together and to also work with citizens’ constituencies, in the spirit of state and non-state actors maximizing the inherent gains of partnership for achieving effective service delivery and sustainable development.
The Kano State SERVICOM-Citizens’ Groups Partnership on Education Service Delivery, which will soon be formally inaugurated, is aimed at engendering collective action for education service delivery in the state.
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