Gov. Aminu Masari of Katsina State, on Tuesday, flagged off the construction of 75 junior and senior secondary schools across the 34 local government areas of the state.
BRANDPOWER reports that the initiative was supported by the World Bank, through the Adolescent Girls Initiative for Learning and Empowerment (AGILE) and the state government.
Speaking at the event in Katsina, the governor said this was the first phase of the project, adding another set of 75 schools would also be constructed later.
Masari added that his administration’s target was to construct 150 schools, comprising 90 junior and 60 senior secondary schools, in order to positively touch the lives and wellbeing of the people of the state.
“One of the policy structures of the present administration, as contained in our restoration agenda, was the provision of qualitative education for the people of Katsina State.
“We thank Allah that, within the period of our stewardship, we were able to develop and turn around the education sector in the state.
“We rehabilitated and constructed many schools, and provided learning materials, aimed at providing conducive teaching and learning environment in the schools.
“We also recruited many qualified teachers, procured and distributed learning materials to schools and colleges in the state, in addition to the training of teachers,” he said.
Masari further stated that the provision of additional junior and senior secondary schools was to ensure access to qualitative education for children, who used to travel long distances to attend school.
According to him, when completed, the project will assist in addressing the challenges of transition from primary school through junior secondary school to senior secondary school.
“Even before the AGILE project, the present administration has established 68 junior secondary schools within some existing primary schools, two from each of the 34 local government areas.
“The idea was to test the efficacy of 100 percent transition from primary schools to junior secondary schools.
“The result was amazing, as almost all primary school students in the pilot schools automatically transited to junior secondary schools,” he said.
According to the governor, the AGILE project will actualise the plans, beginning with the flag-off of the project.
Earlier, the AGILE Coordinator in the state, Alhaji Mustapha Shehu, said that the project was expected to be completed in December 2023.
Shehu said that the project came up after conducting a distance analysis to identify disadvantaged communities in terms of the provision of learning materials.
The coordinator explained that in 2020, AGILE presented a report to the governor on its mapping exercise, where it identified areas where the project would be sited.
He said that the mapping was aimed at providing equity and consideration for communities with a high number of school children, but with the children trekking beyond five kilometers to attend junior secondary schools and seven kilometers for senior secondary school.