Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State has inaugurated the distribution of 11,000 free textbooks to all Senior Secondary Secondary (SSS 2) students in public schools across the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the free Chemistry and Physics textbooks were sponsored and donated by Alh. Ahmed Ododo, the Kogi Auditor-General for Local Government, in support of the State Government’s School Adoption and Mentorship Programme.
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Speaking at the inauguration at Abdulaziz Atta Memorial College, Okene, the governor commended the donor for the gesture in supporting education in the state.
Bello, who was represented by the State’s Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Mr Wemi Jones, said his administration had given topmost priority to education, especially Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
The governor emphasised that his commitment to revamping the education sector in the state necessitated the 30 per cent allocation to education in the 2022 budget, even beyond the UNESCO benchmark of 26 per cent.
This, he said had, reflected in the execution of massive education infrastructure projects, as well as the ongoing recruitment of qualified secondary school teachers across the state.
Bello said that aside from building school infrastructures, the government was also committed to equipping the schools with well-qualified teachers.
He explained that teachers’ recruitment too, had reached the final stage after the aptitude tests and oral interviews were concluded, saying the final list was waiting for final approvals.
The governor added that the state had enacted an education law, which empowered the ministry to sanction any person or group who tried to jeopardise the government’s efforts in revamping education in the state.
He emphasised that the state government had shown sufficient commitment, hence the need for individuals and organisations to support the government’s efforts through its School Adoption and Mentorship Programme.
He commended the donor, Ododo, for donating the 11,000 Physics and Chemistry textbooks to public schools in the state, describing it ”as the biggest intervention by an individual in the sector so far”.
He further disclosed that another Kogi citizen had also promised to make provision for mathematics textbooks for the students.
He urged all the political appointees, well-meaning individuals and organisations to emulate them, by embracing the state’s school adoption and mentorship programme.
Bello, however, cautioned schools’ principals and teachers against commercialising the textbooks, saying it was not for sale, but to be given to students free of charge.
He stressed that the ministry had put mechanisms in place to monitor the distribution of the textbooks, warning that erring individuals would be sanctioned.
The governor advised the students to justify the donor’s effort by making judicious use of the textbooks. (NAN)