Gombe State Government on Tuesday said it has enrolled 214, 000 children into public schools in the state between September 2019 and January 2020, with 70,000 of them being the Almajiri kids.
Gov. Inuwa Yahaya, made the disclosure at a ceremony for the distribution of uniform and instructional materials to pupils in Jalinga village, Funakaye Local Government Area of the state.
School uniforms, bags and writing materials were distributed to pupils in public primary schools and Girl Child Learning Centres under the Federal Government’s Better Education Service Delivery for All (BESDA) programme.
Yahaya disclosed that 70, 000 Almajiris were integrated into formal system while 40, 000 girls were enrolled into formal Girl Child Learning Centres in the state.
He added that 104, 000 children, hitherto, school dropouts were also returned to the schools to enable them to continue with their education.
The governor said he inherited over 500, 000 out-of-school children when he assumed office in 2019.
The educational system was also replete with various inadequacies, he ssaid.
He explained that parlous state of education prompted his administration to declare State of Emergency in education to reinvigorate the sector.
According to him, the state government has so far spent N2.9 billion on renovation of 400 classrooms in basic and post basic schools in the state.
Yahaya added that his administration also established a pioneer Teacher Training Institute, in Kwami in the northeast, to enhance teacher training and capacity development.
He urged parents and guardians to complement the gesture and enrol their wards in schools.
Babaji Babadidi, Chairman, Gombe State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), said the choice of Funakaye for the flag-off of the distribution of instructional materials was not a coincidence.
“It is one of the areas with highest number of out-of-school children in the state”.
Babadidi noted that the gesture signified the zeal and commitment of the governor towards uplifting the standard of basic education in the state.
Dr. Abdullahi Ahmed, BESDA Coordinator, called on parents to cooperate with government to ensure the enrolment and retention of their children in schools.
Ahmed attributed the successes recorded by the programme to the support of community and religious leaders in the state.
Dr. Habu Dahiru, the state’s Commissioner of Education urged parents to complement government effort by monitoring the performance of their wards.
Dahiru said the state government had renovated classrooms and hostels to make teaching and learning environment in the schools conducive.