Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto state has reiterated that education remains the fulcrum upon which any meaningful development could be achieved particularly in this age of enlightenment when knowledge remains the driver of socio-political, technological and economic development.
He stated this at the combined convocation ceremony of the Sokoto State University and the installation of the Emir of Dutse, Alhaji Dr. Nuhu Muhammad Sanusi, as the University’s Chancellor.
According to Tambuwal, it is this central role of education in development that motivates his administration to accord it a top of priority in budgetary provisions of not less than 26 per cent annually.
Indeed, pointed out the governor, in 2016, a whopping 29% budgetary allocation was made to the sector, above the UNESCO global benchmark.
This, he also said, is the reason the government declared a State of Emergency, funded through an education levy upon his assumption of office.
Governor Tambuwal said both the handsome budgetary allocation and the declaration of emergency in the sector have greatly assisted in turning around its fortune as in 2016 a model Government Secondary School was constructed at Balle in Gudu local government area. Hitherto, the area was the only one without a Senior Secondary School in the country.
Tambuwal said his intention is to build 40 such model secondary schools in the state, that indicating that the administration’s agenda of building 160 new primary and secondary schools in the state has recorded more than 50% success rate, in addition to the renovation of 1500 primary schools and 180 junior secondary schools.
He explained that the unprecedented expansions is meant to provide access to education, particularly to the rural areas and the disadvantaged groups, which was why the Agency for Girl-Child Education was created to promote the education of girls in the State.
He said the Agency has sponsored the training of the first batch of 250 female teachers at the Shehu Shagari College of Education Sokoto, in addition to the recruitment of teachers and establishment of Girls Secondary Schools in various parts of the state, part of which are the Model Government Girls Science Academy in Kasarawa and similar Girls Secondary Schools intended to provide equal access to education for women in the state.
”Our administration has not been unmindful of the problem of out of school children. The establishment of additional primary and secondary schools is aimed at providing access to education and thus addressing the problem of this category of children in the state,” he emphasized.
Appealing to well-meaning citizens, particularly the Ulamah, to complement government’s effort in providing sound education and training to children in the state, the governor. congratulated the management, staff and students of the Sokoto State University for successfully organizing the convocation, saying that the state government will not relent in providing all the necessary support and encouragement to the University.
”We have recently approved the payment of different allowances for the University Staff, with a view to raising their morale to deliver on their core mandate of teaching and research. The state government is willing to provide necessary funding for research, so as to lay a solid foundation for a knowledge driven polity in the State,” he noted.
He added that the ongoing construction of the State University Teaching Hospital and allocation of a building to the University at General Murtala Muhammad Specialist Hospital are meant to facilitate the successful take-off of the College of Medical Sciences in the institution.
He further added that the state government, in the 2021 budget, has equally made a provision for the establishment of two additional faculties, construction of an additional student’s hostel and the completion of staff quarters.
At the graduation ceremony, the governor named the university’s Senate building and its library after late Alhaji Umaru Ali Shinkafi and late Inuwa Abdulkadir, who were successively former Pro-Chancellors of the university.