By Bashir Abdullahi El-bash
His magnificent and efficient efforts in restoring the dignity of education in Kano state has been well acknowledged, not only in Nigeria but across the world, with global superpowers like the United States, United Kingdom and France, giving him credits and accolades.
That is Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, the undisputed father of educational revolution in 21st century’s Kano.
As part of his magnificent campaign for free, compulsory education policy in Kano state, Governor Ganduje has taken a critical look at a total of 70 boarding schools across the state, with the aim of giving pupils decent and sufficient meals in order to help them acquire sound knowledge.
In his own words, the governor said even though the road to achieving quality free and compulsory education policy is a long and winding one, his administration would ensure success in this effort, while giving special attention to boarding schools in Kano state.
Governor Ganduje made the remarks at Africa House in Government House Kano, while addressing an elaborate meeting with the contractors that would handle the free feeding programme designed to benefit thousands of pupils in boarding across the state.
“It is mandatory for every contractor we have given this job to understand that our dear state is placed on a new bearing that would lead to acquisition of sound knowledge for our citizens,” he said.
“There are at least three strategies that you must follow in order to ensure that our pupils have peace of mind during classes. The first is to feed them with enough food; the second is to give them quality food and the third is to make sure that you have fed them on time,” he added.
There are at least 70 boarding schools with a total pupils population of 100,000 under the newly designed free feeding programme. Out of these schools, a total of 21 are Science and Technical Schools, 46 are conventional secondary schools under the supervision of the Kano State Secondary Schools Management Board (KSSSMB), while 12 others are Islamiyya or Tsangaya Schools.
Governor Ganduje, who expressed the support and commitment of his administration towards prompt payment to the contractors, however warned them and those that would handle the food items in the schools’ kitchens to be honest and desist from selling the contract award letters or the food stuffs.
He further warned the contractors that the state government would deal severely with anyone contractor who dared to sell or transfer their contract award letters to unscrupulous third parties to execute shoddy jobs.
Governor Ganduje also threatened to revoke the feeding contract from any of the contractors who breached the terms of the rules.
According to him, all the school feeding plans conceived by the government are of utmost importance, adding that “it is necessary for all of us to play our respective roles towards the successful implementation of this free education policy because this school feeding is a critical component of that policy”.
“I am further reminding you that we would not delay your payment after you have successfully executed your jobs. This is why you must work hard to deliver,” he said.
The Governor also revealed that just as some Islamiyya or Tsangaya schools were included in the current batch of the feeding programme, his administration would ensure that all the other Tsangaya schools in the state are included in subsequent batches.
During the inauguration of the free feeding programme for the boarding schools, Governor Ganduje also rolled out changes to ensure efficiency in how the programme would be administered as part of successful implementation of the free education policy.