Yahaya Bello’s Commendable 30% Budgetary Allocation To Education
By Nafisat Bello
“Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today”
– Malcolm X
After my recent article on the giant strides his administration is making in the agricultural sector in Kogi state, I learnt that Governor Yahaya Bello is dedicating a whopping 30 per cent allocation to the education sector in the state’s 2022 budget. This shows a 10 per cent increase from the current 20 per cent.
Governor Bello has always expressed his administration’s commitment to the development of the education sector as the key to high-level human capital development needed for the emancipation of the people.
As a product of public education system from primary to tertiary level, Governor Bello has been investing heavily on public schools to make them attractive to parents and students in the face of competition from private schools. His government’s concentration has not only been on infrastructural development in the sector, but also on the welfare of teachers to give leverage to public schools over their privately-owned counterparts.
In a recent report, the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) ranked Kogi state as the 7th top performer amongst all the state including FCT in providing Basic Education. This was after the government constructed over 375 classrooms blocks and renovated over 700 Basic Education Primary Schools across the state.
Since delivery of effective and quality learning must be matched with the proper learning environment, Bello embarked on a massive construction and renovation of schools across all the tiers of education.
The establishment of the Confluence University of Science and Technology, Osara, Kogi state, which the government initiated and completed has also been commended by the Executive Secretary of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), Professor Suleiman Elias Bogoro.
In the face of dysfunctional education system in the country, Kogi has incorporated technical and specialised education in its school curricula to address the issue. There is the Korea Institute at the state’s polytechnic and the newly established Confluence University of Science and Technology, Osara.
Similarly, the government redistributed teachers across the secondary schools in the state, while providing physical infrastructure and modern learning materials for the benefits of the teeming digital literate students. The construction of bed hostels at the Government Secondary Schools at Obangede, Icheke in Omala and other communities in the state are being hailed by stakeholders.
The state has also been making efforts to ensure a safe and secure Kogi to prevent abduction of children by criminal elements.
The administration of Governor Bello constructed a Model Security House wired with security Communication gadgets and installation of CCTV equipment. The state also provides modern sporting facilities and well-equipped medical centres to deliver quality health service to the students across the local government areas.
In achieving the objective of education for all, the state recently enacted its Indigenous Education Law which prohibits children from hawking during school hours and streamlines the activities of stakeholders.
Apart from establishing a new university, the governor remodelled and re-equipped the College of Health Science and Technology Idah, making it more conducive and suitable for effective learning.
The educational orientation that Governor Bello instils on his people has also brought unity among the ethnic groups in the state.
The Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) therefore recently conferred on Governor Bello the Press Freedom Award as a ‘Role Model in Education.’
The NUJ National President, Mr Chris Isiguzo, explained that the category of the award is exclusively given to personalities who have made outstanding contributions to any of the critical sectors of the economy. He added that that Governor Bello promoted press freedom and brought a revolution to the education sector in Kogi state.
In his remarks, Governor Bello observed that even though the economy is important, he holds the education sector in high esteem in view of its significance to development of the people and state.
According to him, quality and affordable education is the key to a high level of human capital development, which is, in turn, the access code to unlocking keys needed for a breakthrough in all other sectors.
“If we educate ourselves well, leaders will lead well and followers will follow well. If we educate our children well, we will not instigate non-state actors to carry arms against the country. If we educate ourselves, we will not see any leader that will embezzle one naira not to talk of millions, billions or trillions because we know that when you take such money that does not belong to you, you are laying a foundation for crisis.”
“If we educate ourselves properly, we will be able to criticise our leaders constructively rather than pulling our country down,” he concluded.
Nafisat Bello is with PoliticsDigest, Abuja
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