Kaduna State Government has continued to upgrade existing learning facilities and expand schools in the state to provide quality education.
The development saw the adoption of techniques that led to the creation of a positive learning atmosphere which may motivate and engage students.
Prior to the renovation works, majority of the public schools were said to be in need of immediate attention from the government; most of them were without furniture.
Our reporter who visited Queen Amina College in Kaduna observed the changing looks of the school as 25 out of its 33 classrooms have been renovated. Also, six out of the nine dormitories were renovated.
The old pit toilets have been replaced by water closets (WC), or what is popularly known as flush toilets, with water made available for proper cleaning. Each of the hostels now has about four toilets, four bathrooms and laundry. A student said that boreholes were drilled to provide alternative water source.
Another student said that before the renovation, classrooms and hostels were in a very bad state, while the toilets stank and that most students defecated in the open.
The Principal, Mrs. Larai Y. Siman, confirmed the deplorable state of the school before the renovation. She said the upgrade gave the school a new look.
She also said that the students had already occupied the renovated hostels and classrooms; and that measures were taken against vandalism.
She said new beds and mattresses had been supplied to the hostels while desks and chairs provided in all the classrooms.
“The students have no reason not to learn because a very conducive environment has been provided for them,” she said.
Kaduna State Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Professor Andrew Nok, in an interview, highlighted that the increment of budget provision to education in the state from 33 per cent in 2016 to 35 per cent in 2017 would enable provision of educational infrastructure in schools.
“The budget was jerked from 33 per cent to 35 per cent, meaning that for every N100 we have in the state, N35 comes to education and that is indeed unprecedented,” he said.
He said that the state government had begun the Phase I modernisation of boarding schools, including Barewa College, Alhuhuda College, GGSS Kawo, Government College, Kagoro, Government Girls College, Kwoi, Government College, Kachia, Government Girls College Zonkwa, Rimi College, Government Technical College, Soba, Government Girls Secondary School, Giwa, Government Secondary School, Saminaka and Government College, Kaduna.
According to him, government would convert some day schools to boarding while those that were already boarding would be upgraded. “We have started with 15 schools. The schools have been upgraded and that investment is not less than N3 billion. Before the upgrade, some of the schools did not have ceilings, roofs and floors. No chairs, potholes in classrooms and offices, among others; but now the floors of the classrooms are made of terrazzo.
“We believe that to get quality education, the dearth of infrastructure must be addressed. Now, chairs are available in classrooms in our schools, we have also abolished the use of blackboards to prevent the teachers from inhaling carbonated dust from chalk. To add colour, we have smart boards to enhance learning,” he said.
Speaking further, the commissioner said more classrooms would be built to accommodate the rapid increase in the number of students thereby adding to the existing 2.1 million. He said government would engage professionals in building one to two storey buildings in schools with all facilities enclosed. “This we believe will take care of the population,” he said.