From Noah Ebije, Kaduna

The Deputy Governor of Kaduna state, Dr Hadiza Balarabe, has disclosed that the government welcomes the support that development partners are providing in its quest to educate all children in the state.

She said the policy of free education for the first 12 years is aimed at expanding access to education by removing obstacles like school fees and lack of food.
Dr. Balarabe further said that Kaduna state is grateful to development partners and civil society organisations for complementing this effort to put all children in school, by designing a programme that provides financial relief to street children and their families.

The Deputy Governor spoke during the flag-off of cash disbursement to almajirai under the Children in Street Situation Programme, held at the Yar’Adua Hall Murtal Square, Kaduna, on Wednesday.

She disclosed that the programme will commence with 2,674 almajirai who will each receive N5,000 each as cash transfer.

According to her, the donors plan to increase the amount to N10,000 ‘’to ensure that these children are enrolled and kept in schools.’’

Dr Balarabe noted that the innovative intervention covers ‘’financial inclusion through banking the beneficiaries, promoting social inclusion through birth and digital identity registration and expanding literacy through enrolment and provision of accessory materials and uniforms.’’

She listed stakeholders involved in the almajiri project to include the National Population Commission which is providing the children with birth certificates.

Others are Kaduna State Universal Basic Education Board which is providing reading materials, and Keystone Bank which has opened accounts for the beneficiaries.

According to her, the Kaduna State Resident Identity Management Agency is registering and enrolling the children with National Identity Numbers (NIN) while UNICEF is providing the funds for the cash disbursement. ‘’

Dr Balarabe pointed out that Governor Nasir El Rufai’s administration is bent on developing human capital and providing equal opportunity for every resident of Kaduna state.

She explained that the El Rufai’s love for children ‘’ensured that Kaduna State enacted the Child Welfare and Protection Law in 2018, to domesticate the Child Rights Act and to further strenghten policies and measures being taken to promote the access of all children to decent education and health care.’’

According to the Deputy Governor, the ‘’focus on human capital development and equal opportunity informed the state government’s decision to make education free and compulsory for the first 12 years of schooling.’’

“The government also took steps to address the distortions in the Almajirci/Tsangaya system and ensure that no child is left behind in enjoying the right to education.

“The Kaduna State Government is replacing it with a more organised and humane system that allows the children to access the indicators of human development such as qualitative education and healthcare,’’ she added.

Dr. Balarabe noted that ‘’KDSG’s inclusive approach treats all children resident in the state as equal citizens, educated to the same curriculum in schools regulated by the same government agency, the Quality Assurance Authority.’’

According to her, ‘’this allows suitably licensed schools to teach children their faith in addition to the secular curriculum in integrated schools. ‘’

‘’It is the policy of the Kaduna State Government that every child must have at least 12 years of education, from primary school to the completion of senior secondary school.

“The government has also ensured that vulnerable persons are covered in the Kaduna State contributory health insurance scheme,’’ she added.

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Source: news