From Gamba Ahmed Lafia
Nasarawa state Deputy Governor Mr Silas Agara, has said that child enrollment in primary schools across the state has tripled as a result of the collaboration between Universal Basic Education (UBEC) and the Nasarawa state government.
The deputy governor made the disclosure in Lafia the state capital yesterday during a courtesy call paid on him by the Minister of state for Education, Professor Anthony Onwuka, Doctor Hameed Boboye, Executive Secretary and other officials of the Universal Education Board (UBEB) across the country.
Agara said the improvement in the enrollment of children in schools across the state harps on the proactive approach of the Governor Umaru Al-Makura administration in providing new and adequate structures and paying the state’s counterpart fund, a prerequisite for support from UBEC in states.
According to him, “We met structures absolutely decayed. We came on board in 2011. The enrolment roll was quite low. But we got to work and cleared all our counterpart obligations. We had to pay our counterpart funds for 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016 to access funds. Today, our schools are wearing a new look”.
Agara continued “Our kids saw new structures in their villages and were excited and that encouraged parents to send their children to schools. Our improved relationship with UBEC played a key role in the improved enrollment”.
The deputy Governor opined that apart from the support and collaboration with UBEC, the Nasarawa state government had to introduce free education at all levels across the state so as to encourage more enrollment and meet the basic law.
Agara further said that the state government has also contributed immensely and supported education of people living with disability with structures in Lafia, Akwanga and Keffi local government areas of the state and paid fees of the disabled children so as to encourage their enrollment in schools.
“Mr President was here few weeks back to commission one of those structures. We have one in Lafia that is 100 percent completed and has been commissioned by the President. We have one in Akwanga and another in Keffi. We are hoping that by the end of the year, they will be completed,” he said
Also speaking, Onwuka applauded the Nasarawa state government for the efforts towards revamping basic education in the state and said that they were in the state to hold a UBEC quarterly meeting to deliberate on matters affecting basic education across the country.