FILE PHOTO: Out-of-school children

The Kano State Commissioner for Education, Muhammad Sanusi-Kiru, says over 500,000 out-of-school children in the state are now back to school, as the state’s school enrolment level increases tremendously.

Sanusi-Kiru disclosed this to newsmen in Kano on Thursday, ahead of the maiden International Day of Education event, scheduled for Friday in Kano.

The event with the theme: “Learning for People, Planet, Prosperity and Peace,” is being organised by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

The commissioner said that the state witnessed a drastic increase in school enrolment, following numerous intensive interventions initiated by the Gov. Abdullahi Ganduje-led administration, especially the recent declaration of free and compulsory education.

He added that the state government had also constructed and renovated schools at the cost of over N400 million to address issues of congestion in classrooms, arising from the increase in enrolment.

“The 2018 report of the World Bank said that Kano has over 900,000 out-of-school children. But our own statistics, as I am talking to you, is revealing over 400,000.

“Their own statistics was in 2018 and that was before the introduction of this free and compulsory education in the state.

“So with the introduction, we are saying that no parent should pay a kobo for his children. We are going to feed and give them uniform and instructional materials free of charge.

The only thing you need to do as a parent is to ensure that your children go to school. That is why the enrolment is increasing now.

“In a matter of one or two years, we are not going to talk about private schools anymore because the government is providing everything free of charge,” he said.

Sanusi-Kiru gave the assurance that by 2021, donors peeping to see out-of-school children would not find any in the state again.

The commissioner said that plans were underway to also employ about 7,000 teachers and disburse additional 4,000 pieces of furniture to schools.

“We have declared free and compulsory education from primary to junior and senior secondary schools. I think it is a commendable effort by the present administration in the state.

Since I assumed duty as a commissioner, I have been working round the clock to ensure implementation of the free and compulsory education policy,” he said.

Sanusi-Kiru added that the state government had in stock over one million textbooks to be distributed to primary and secondary schools.

The commissioner, however, solicited for the continued support from donor agencies so that government could be able to provide quality education for children in the state.