The Kaduna State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) said on Wednesday that N93 billion was needed to address infrastructural deficit in the state’s primary schools.
The Executive Chairman of the board, Alhaji Nasiru Umar, said this in Kaduna, when the National Assembly Committee on Basic Education, led by Mr Istifanus Gyang, visited the board as part of its oversight function.
Umar said that the figure was based on the survey conducted in 2014 to ascertain the level of infrastructural decay in the basic education sector.
He also said that the 3,000 classrooms were overstretched by the current 2.2 million enrolments in primary schools with only 37,004 teachers.
The chairman added that in some schools, particularly in the urban areas, teacher/student ratio was a teacher to over 200 pupils, in contrast to a teacher to 40 to 50 pupil ratio in rural areas.
According to him, the state has a deficit of about 25,000 teachers based on the current primary school enrolments.
He said that the state accessed N2.8 billion from the 2013 to 2015 Universal Basic Education Commission capital grant.
“The projects for 2013 were 100 per cent executed; 2014 is ongoing, while contracts for 2015 capital projects will soon be awarded.
“Contract for the provision of school chairs is already about 60 per cent completed.”
He also said that the state government had in 2015, declared a state of emergency in the education sector to address the decay in the sector.
“So far, in the basic education, more than was N9.6 billion was spent on school renovation, provision of furniture, teachers training and other basic infrastructure during the emergency period.”
Earlier, Gyang, representing Barikin Ladi/Riyom Federal Constituency, explained that the purpose of the committee’s visit was to assess the utilisation of UBEC intervention funds as appropriated by the National Assembly.
“We are here to see how Kaduna State has fared in terms of accessing UBEC funds and how such funds have been utilised.
“This is to ensure that every kobo appropriated is well utilised to improve the standard of basic education in the country.
“We would, therefore, carry out on-the-spot visit to schools to assess the level of performance in the implementation of UBEC capital grant in the state.
“We want to see what has been done and what needs to be done to address the poor state of education in the country, particularly basic education,” Gyang said.
During interactive session, some of the committee members sought to know why the funds for the 2015/2016 capital projects had not been utilised.
Responding, Mr Sunday Madaki, the Director, Physical and Project Monitoring Department of the board, explained that the government was constrained by the lack of space to provide adequate structures that could accommodate all pupils.
He further said that government had decided to construct storey buildings and that the contracts would soon be awarded.(NAN).M