By Emelda Odor
Kaduna (Nigeria) — A survey conducted in Kaduna State shows gross shortage of classrooms, absence of good toilets and lack of safe drinking water are key reasons parents prefer sending their kids to private schools as against public schools.
Other reasons include, unavailability of playground and equipment, broken classroom floors and inadequate instructional materials.
Director Programme, Life-Line Educational Centre and the Research Co-ordinator in the Coalition of Civil Society Organization, Grace Jamila Bila stated this while presenting a civil society report of participatory research for advocacy to the Chairman, House Committee on Education Kaduna State House of Assembly, Dahiru Liman on school improvement.
She said the report was a research embarked upon showing the saturation in 660 schools across the state and to solicit the support of the House of Assembly to see to the improvement of schools so that the schools will be a good place for children to learn and excel in their endeavours.
“What we come here today is for the legislators to legislated and make it come to be a stand the issue of inclusive education in the State and the issue of Schools Based Management Committee-SBMC being formalized because SBMC is the key that is in the improvement of our schooling” said Dr. Bila.
“There are many challenges although the government is doing the much they are doing and communities are also doing but there still so much to be done. We have as much as 4,420 schools by the census of 2014 even with that we have so much children that are still out of school and we also have component of children team as special need children, those are the challenges” she narrated.
Bila added that due to high level of poverty and hunger, parents send their children to labour during school hours to support the income of the family such as hawking, bus conductor and garbage collecting.
According to her, culture and religious belief also remain the strong factors influencing the low level awareness and importance of education, early marriage while some parents believe that it is a waste of time and resources to send a girls child to school.
The Director Programme however recommended that the State policy on inclusive education be reviewed and legislated for adoption and enforced which would make all schools inclusive to the extent that all learner, learns by the provisions of relevant and appropriate support to meet the divers’ need of the children in school.
She emphasized that the Universal basic Education policy on inclusive education need be interpreted and implemented according to the needs of Kaduna State.
Bila also said there is need for teachers to be trained to understand need for the children and structure needed to be adopted to be able to accommodate so that such children can access education.
Responding, Dahiru Liman assured that the Committee will study the report and ensure that government succeed in developing education in the State.
Also, the Chairman House Committee on Health, Isaac Auta said the House is ready to fight the cause, adding that without schools nobody can be where they are today and advised the Society to use the opportunity and give the House the best they can offer through proposals.