The United Kingdom government through the British High Commission in Nigeria has pledged to support the Jigawa State government in developing education in the state.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO) announced this during an Education Reform Dialogue that aims to address the challenges of out-of-school children and the dearth of teachers in Jigawa.
The event, which took place at the Three Star Hotel, in Dutse with the theme: ‘Repositioning Teaching and Learning for Human Capital Development’, was convened by the Ministry of Basic Education.
The ministry highlighted the 12-point agenda of the new administration geared towards repositioning the state as a centre of excellence.
FCDO’s Senior Education Adviser, Lan Attfield, commended the effort of the state government while pledging the UK government’s support.
He commended the government on the steps taken to address key strategic issues in education especially its efforts to address the critical shortage of teachers.
He said Nigeria is still experiencing a learning crisis and one of the most vital ingredients that any state or government can do is to supply qualified, motivated and adequately supported teachers.
He added that the UK is delighted to see the progress being made across the board, under the leadership and vision of Governor Umar Namadi.
Namadi appreciated FCDO for its interventions in the state which he said spanned over a decade.
He stated that the state is still reaping the benefits of the Public Financial Management reforms done by the UK government through the then Department for International Development (DFID).
Hea said the state’s Tsangaya programme (Almajiri School) is designed specifically to drastically reduce the number of out-of-school children and called on FCDO to join hands as it is poised to replicate FCDO’s interventions.
In his remark, the commissioner for Basic Education, Lawan Danzomo, said the state has set aside more than N2.6 billion to recruit and train 6,000 new teachers.
Danzomo said the reform is in line with key recommendations highlighted in a new Teacher Recruitment and Deployment Policy approved by the state, which the Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office supported through its Partnership for Learning for All in Nigeria (PLANE) and Partnership for Reform and Learning (PERL-ARC) programmes.
The PLANE team leader in Jigawa, Mustapha Ahmad, said FCDO will support the state during the recruitment, training and deployment of the new teachers.
He said FCDO will also provide technical inputs in materials supply to Jigawa State.
Hea said that so far, PLANE trained 2,361 teachers in the state and donated thousands of literacy and mathematics textbooks to pupils in the state, while also supporting teachers with guides.
According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), Jigawa State has the fifth largest number of out-of-school children in Nigeria after Bauchi, Kebbi, Katsina and Kano State.