How Community in Kano is Generating N540,000 through Car Wash, Other Businesses to Return Children to School

By Uangbaoje Alex, Kano

Worried about the number of Out of School Children in their community, State and Nigeria in general, a community in Kano, seems to have discovered a model that can help in bringing solution, thereby drastically reducing the rate of out of school children in Nigeria.

The community who came together under the School Based Management Committee (SBMC), Parents Teachers Association (PTA), and Mothers Association of Ja’en Special Primary School, in Gwale Local Government Area of Kano State, has set up different businesses at the school premises to be supporting children who couldn’t be in school because of economic and other reasons.

The businesses which includes; Car Wash, Horticulture garden, commercial Borehole, generates a minimum of five hundred and forty thousand (540,000) naira yearly, which is forty five thousand naira (#45,000) monthly, to provide the children with writing materials, school uniforms, bags and other necessities.

Speaking when some journalists visited the school to know how the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) implemented, Department For International Development (DFID), funded Girls Education Project phase three (GEP3), is fairing in the school, SBMC, Chairman of the school, Alhaji Kabir Addo, disclosed that the proceeds from the businesses is met specially for out of school children they are taking out of the streets back to school.

GEP3 is aimed at getting more girls to complete basic education. The project also aims to increase parental demand for, and support to girls’ education: write a conditional cash transfer strategy for design and scale-up of scheme. Establish clearer attribution of enrolment increases via analysis of School-Based Management committee monitoring tool data, amongst others.

Speaking further, the SBMC Chairman, explained that the business investments was an effort by the community to own the school and be providing solutions to immediate needs of the school and also get rid of out of school children menace and it’s effects on the society.

He said, “we can up with the initiatives after series of trainings by UNICEF and the State Basis Education Board (SUBEB), on how to own the GEP3 when donors funding ends. But as you can see we are not waiting for the funding to end before doing what we need to do.

“That was why we opened the car wash, the flower garden, the borehole, even the farm behind the school. At the end of every month we generate nothing less than #45,000 to enable us buy uniforms, books, bags, sandals and other instructional materials to ensure these children are comfortable in school.

“Apart from that, we also have a another borehole inside the school compound that the students and staff uses. We also support the school by renovating classrooms, even now we are doing sand filling of the compound because once is raining like this everywhere becomes swamping. This also have generated employment for some young people working here.

According to Addo, the SBMC also support the Mothers Association in the school to go out and look for the children, then bring them to school, this he said if SBMC’s in all the schools can adopt same will end the scourge of out of maize children in the country.

He said establishment of the car wash cost the community over N342,000, adding that a total of N1,084,800, have been spent on provision of uniforms, writing materials, fixing of broken desks, sand filling of the compound and other support for the school and the children in the last few months.

He however calls for support from all stakeholders interested in the wellbeing of children to help provide the school with seats as children still sits on the floor to learn, a situation he said is not conducive for them.

Analyst says if all SBMCs in the country can adopt the model of Ja’en, it will go a long way in solving numerous challenges facing basic education and problem of out of school children that is increasing daily in Nigeria.

Kano SUBEB in 2009 domesticated the National SBMC policy and produced state specific SBMC policy in 2010 with support from Education Sector Support Programme in Nigeria (ESSPIN), a DfID funded Project. ESSPIN supported SBMCs Development in selected 312 pilot primary schools across Albasu, Fagge and Kumbotso LGAs in Kano in line with state SBMC policy in 2010 through Civil-Society and Government Partnership.

In 2013 UBEC also facilitated the establishment of SBMC in 264 schools.
Kano SUBEB rolled out SBMC Development in 4505 primary schools across 44 LGAs.

SBMCs are seen as essential link between schools and communities as they serve in providing good governance and assist schools with basic needs and support for improvement of teaching and learning environment. They are set up to ensure the success of community participation in Basic and Secondary Education.

SBMCs are established by government to act as a bridge between schools and communities they served. The committees comprised 17 members drawn from school pupils and teachers, traditional and religious institutions, artisans, Community Based organizations, school old pupils, women organization based on the State SBMC policy.

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