From AMEDU JOSEPH, Lokoja
The Kogi State Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Rosemary Osikoya, has solicited for individuals, groups, and corporate organisations assistance towards the provision of education infrastructure capable of boosting quality education in the state.
The commissioner made the call when she led a team of government officials on an inspection tour to LGEA Primary School Ukpolojogene, a remote village in Anyigba, Dekina Local Government Area.
The LGEA Primary School Ukpolojogene, is a school with no single block of classroom in one of the remotest villages in Dekina of about 15km from Anyigba town.
The school was established 18 years ago on October 17, 2001 by a mere pronouncement by the former State Governor, Prince Abubakar Audu, but had since then been abandoned by the previous administrations.
Osikoya noted there had not been sufficient education planning by all the past governments in the state, adding that Kogi did not receive any form of special interventions from donor partners and Federal government especially on secondary education.
According to her, for the first time in the history of Kogi, the government of Gov. Yahaya Bello, funded the conduct of basic Annual School Census (ASC), and we were able to capture every school across the state because all the relevant stakeholders were duely carried along.
She noted that many surprising reports were discovered through the 2018 ASC, which also revealed that Kogi State had about 5000 primary and secondary schools including both private and public schools, noting that the LGEA Ukpolojogene was captured in the census.
She added the 2018 ASC reports showed that there were many schools with no building; buildings with no student; schools without teachers; and congregation of teachers without schools.
Osikoya stressed that the government could not adequately fund education, and urged individuals, groups, organisations and other relevant stakeholders to assist in providing education infrastructure as part of the most basic elements necessary to ensure access to quality education.
The commissioner opined that given adequate support to education would also reduce the high number of out-of-school children and youths, saying there were preponderance of teachers in urban areas but shortage of teachers in rural areas due to lack of basic facilities.
She stressed that any time the issues of the impacts of natural disaster were being discussed, schools infrastructure should always be on the front burner.