ActionAid Urges Governor el-Rufai to Give Attention to Education Infrastructure in Rural Communities
……Partners “Hope for the Village Child” to Train Stakeholders on Promoting Rights in Schools
By Uangbaoje Alex, Kaduna
ActionAid Nigeria said for Kaduna State Government to ensure children across the state have access to quality education, there is need for the state Governor Malam Nasir el-Rufai, to give attention to issue of education infrastructure in rural communities.
Sani Ibrahim, Manager Partnership and Local Rights Program, ActionAid Nigeria, made the call on Thursday in Kaduna at the end of a three day training for stakeholders in the basic education sector on “Promoting Rights in School” (PRS).
According to him, “PRS is a methodology and tool used by ActionAid to ensure that people have access to quality education and the basis of these tools are drawn from human rights perspective and that of the context of the state’s policy on education”
He said there are more issues in the rural communities when it comes to education, adding, “am calling on Kaduna state government to look at issues around infrastructure, classes and enough teachers to those communities.
Talking about Kaduna metropolis alone, there are schools in Kaduna with storey buildings that are well furnished in the city, but when you go to the rural areas, there are lots of issues, children there can not access all those infrastructures.
“But at the end of the day, we use the same standard To measure the learning outcome from this children. We set same exams for them in grade six. So the person who is in Kawo or Malali public schools will write same exams with those in Pambawa community. So how do you expect them to perform at the same levels. Sani said.
“I know government is trying, but they need to do more in the rural communities.
“There are teachers who are sent to the communities but those teachers are not wiling to work in these communities because of the bad nature of roads in the rural areas, that makes those communities they are sent to inaccessible. He pleads with the government to implement rural teachers allowances that could cushion the hardship faced by teachers posted to rural areas.
“I remember Governor Nasir El-rufai during his campaign said they were going to give rural teachers allowances. But up till now it has not been implemented.
“When he was in FCT, he implemented rural teachers allowances and so many teachers were rushing to go to rural communities to teach, but here in Kaduna state if a teacher is posted to a rural communities he would not go They will deploy him back because he knows one big politician or big man that will work the transfer back to the city.
“I believe that if Kaduna state will introduce the rural teachers allowances, a lot of people will not be running from the rural communities. They should introduce the allowance as a motivation for people to stay in the rural communities.
“And also they should work on the infrastructure so that the children will have adequate environment to learn. They should also work on the furniture and roads.
“I know when they talk of motivation the new minimum wage has been paid, but there are lot of things to be done. Textbooks should be provided and all those charges that teachers are collecting should also be stopped.” He explained.
Also speaking, Education Coordinator, Hope for the Village Child, Ruth Barrera, said the essence of the training is to equip stakeholders in the education sector in the state to promote rights of children in schools.
She said the program which is focused on two Local Government Areas of Chikun and Igabi, had its participants at the training drawn from the State Ministry of Education, State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Local Government Authorities, the Communities and Teachers under the Schools Based Management Committee (SBMC).
Mrs. Barrera, added “We are looking at what are the SUBEB saying, what are the pronouncements, what are the commitments and are those things happening in the schools at the local communities?
“If for instance, Kaduna State Government said education is free, so we brought education people here and the local communities, so that we can use the PRS tools to check if it is truly free, how free is the free, to what extent is it free?
“We are here so that the local communities can present their own view of the free and the government side present their own view of free and in all this free there is supposed to be different aspects of having adequate trained teachers, having good infrastructures, having other things in the schools.
“Is this what we are seeing, if the government says we are doing this, have they done it? If they have not done it then the local communities can confirm it and talk to the government.”
She said the coming together of the communities and government during the training also created a platform for advocacy where the local communities could get access to engage government officials on areas they are not fulfilling their commitments to the communities.