Gov. Nasiru el-Rufa’i of Kaduna State on Saturday said his government was spending N3 billion on payment of school fees for pupils from primary to junior secondary schools across the state.
He stated this at the 26th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Zaria Education Development Association (ZEDA) held at Barewa College, Zaria, Kaduna state.
El-Rufa’i, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Cabinet Affairs and Special Services, Alhaji Adamu Mansir, said: “Our aim when we came as government was to ensure that basic education is truly free in Kaduna State public schools.
“Now for girls it is free all through in the first 12 years of school up to completion of Senior Secondary School and by abolishing the fees and levies, we have saved parents in Kaduna State over N3 billion every year.
“We have been providing uniforms, raised quality of meals in boarding schools and in some elected secondary schools we are running a pilot programme that involves giving students computer tablets instead of printed text books.”
He said 15,000 students mostly girls were slated in the pilot scheme in the use of computer tablets, noting that their performance had significantly improved.
The governor said having completed the recruitment of more primary school teachers government had begun the recruitment of 7,600 secondary school teachers in addition to the 2,200 English, Mathematics and Science subjects.
The Chairperson of the occasion and former Chief Judge of Kaduna State, Justice Rahila Cudjoe, lauded the giant stride of ZEDA directed at educational development in Zazzau Emirate.
According to her, this is a testimony that Kaduna State remains the centre of learning not only in the North but also across the nation.
She charged the association to keep the flag flying to enable other indigent students benefit from what she described as societal development project.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Chairman, Central Working Committee (CWC), Dr Alimi Bello, said: “Your presence here signifies your commitment to the development of education in our locality.
“ZEDA remained focused on its vision and mission of continuously being a model and reference point as the leading educational NGO thereby creating opportunities for indigenes of Zazzau to attain their full educational potentials for the last 26 years.’’
He observed that the occasion of AGM in the last 26 years provided them opportunity to rub minds and share ideas towards attaining desired goals and objectives.
Bello urged all delegates to make meaningful contributions at the AGM towards achieving a successful, progressive and fruitful outcome.