Governor Nasir el-Rufa’i of Kaduna State on Saturday said his government was spending N3 billion on payment of school fees for pupils from primary to junior secondary schools across the state.
He stated this at the 26th Annual General Meeting of Zaria Education Development Association held at Barewa College, Zaria, Kaduna state.
El-Rufa’i, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Cabinet Affairs and Special Services, Alhaji Adamu Mansir, said, “Our aim when we came as the government was to ensure that basic education is truly free in Kaduna State public schools.
“Now for girls, it is free all through in the first 12 years of school up to the completion of Senior Secondary School and by abolishing the fees and levies, we have saved parents in Kaduna State over N3 billion every year.
“We have been providing uniforms, quality meals in boarding schools and in some selected secondary schools, we are running a pilot programme that involves giving students tablets instead of printed textbooks.”
He said 15,000 students mostly girls were involved in the pilot scheme in the use of tablets, noting that their performance had significantly improved.
The governor said having completed the recruitment of more primary school teachers, government had begun the recruitment of 7,600 secondary school teachers.
The Chairperson of the occasion and former Chief Judge of Kaduna State, Justice Rahila Cudjoe, lauded the giant stride of ZEDA directed at educational development in Zazzau Emirate.
According to her, this is a testimony that Kaduna State remains the centre of learning not only in the North but also across the nation.
She charged the association to keep the flag flying to enable other indigent students to benefit from what she described as a societal development project.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Chairman, Central Working Committee, Dr Alimi Bello, said, “ZEDA remained focused on its vision and mission of continuously being a model and reference point as the leading educational NGO, thereby creating opportunities for indigenes of Zazzau to attain their full educational potentials for the last 26 years