The Kaduna State Ministry of Education, Partnership for Learning for All in Nigeria (PLANE), and other relevant stakeholders in the education sector have committed to ensuring violence-free schools and quality education in the state.
The commitments were the highlight of a one-day media parley and stakeholders’ roundtable that commemorated the 2024 International Day of Education.
The theme of the 2024 International Day of Education is “Promoting Safe and Violence-Free Schools,” with the hashtag, #LearningForLastingPeace.
The event was organized by PLANE in collaboration with the Kaduna Basic Education and Accountability Mechanism (KADBEAM).
In an address, the Kaduna State Chairman of KADSUBEB, Tijjani Abdullahi, expressed delight over the achievements they have made so far in safeguarding schools in Kaduna State.
He outlined some of the achievements the state made in safeguarding schools to include the domestication of the national policy on safety, security, and violence-free schools along with its implementation guidelines.
He also mentioned the establishment of safeguarding teams in the 23 local government areas and peace clubs across the basic schools in the state.
According to Abdullahi, KADSUBEB has about 30,000 teachers for lower and middle basics, and about 4,000 teachers for the upper basics.
He noted that the teacher gap analysis conducted by the state suggested that the schools in the state would need about 13,000 teachers, which the state government has since approved the recruitment of in batches to reduce the student-to-teacher ratio in the state from 80:1 to 60:1.
“Kaduna State has about 4,260 primary schools also known as lower-basic and middle-basic schools and about 177 junior secondary or upper-basic schools.”
Abdullahi opined that free, quality, and safe education delivery is a collective responsibility; therefore, a safe school and violence-free environment is fundamental as factors that determine the development and maintenance of learners’ academic focus on their schoolwork.
He restated the state government’s commitment to ensuring the welfare and enabling environment for teachers and learners to thrive.
Also, the Safeguarding Advisor of PLANE in Kaduna, Hadiza Nasiru, said that a school should ideally be a sanctuary, a space where young minds can flourish without fear of harm or intimidation.
She, however, lamented that the reality falls short of the ideal with incidents of violence and insecurity casting a shadow over the educational landscape.
Speaking to newsmen after the meeting, the representative of KADBEAM, Mr. Steven Wayah, said the meeting aimed at ensuring safe and violence-free schools in Kaduna State.
He stressed that this was why they collaborated with stakeholders and other Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) to outline what they needed to do to achieve the desired results.
Other stakeholders at the meeting included representatives of media houses, Kaduna State Peace Commission, Kaduna State Interfaith Bureau, Persons with Disabilities, among others.