The Kaduna State Government has reaffirmed its commitment to providing every child resident in the state free primary, secondary and technical, as well as vocational education.
An extraordinary meeting of the Kaduna State Executive Council held on Monday described the provision of free education for the first 12 years of schooling as a legacy achievement of the state government.
This is contained in statement signed by the Special Adviser on Media and Communication, Mr Muyiwa Adekeye, on Tuesday.
The statement said that Gov. Nasir El Rufai chaired the meeting of the State Executive Council.
It said the extraordinary meeting of the State Executive Council discussed a memo presented by the Ministry of Education on funding the maintenance of school facilities.
The special adviser further said that the state government would continue to faithfully implement the free senior secondary education policy and to discharge its primary responsibilities for its public schools.
According to him, ‘’the council recalled that in 2015 the government explicitly banned payment of PTA fees and other levies in public schools in order to ensure that the free education policy actually delivers education without burdening parents with hidden fees or levies.’’
“The council observed that the circular issued by the Ministry of Education to school principals on collection of nominal fees is not consistent with government policy, and is thus invalid,’’ Adekeye quoted the council.
According to Adekeye, the governor directed that the ‘’circular from the Ministry of Education to the heads of schools, dated Nov. 1 is, therefore, rescinded with immediate effect and all monies that might have been collected should be refunded forthwith.’’
The statement said that the council noted that community participation and ownership in the administration of public schools is what led to the creation by law of School Management Boards and School-Based Management Committees with membership drawn from all concerned stakeholders.
The statement said the council directed the Ministry of Education to develop a suitable framework to guide all groups that might want to contribute to the development of public schools in the state.
The statement said that the framework was necessary in the interest of accountability and transparency.
According to the statement, the governor ‘’stated that free education is the pillar of the Kaduna State Government’s commitment to human capital development and social mobility for the children of the most vulnerable residents of the state.
“With careful implementation since 2015, this policy guarantees every child access to education from the first year of primary school to the completion of the final year of senior secondary school or technical/vocational school.
“Free education, up to the completion of senior secondary school, reflects the government’s abiding belief in promoting equality of opportunity and expanding access to education as a lever of social mobility.
“KDSG’s deep conviction that government has an obligation to provide free education up to senior secondary level or its equivalent has been expressed in legal provisions that make it compulsory for every child to go to school for 12 uninterrupted years, since the financial obstacle represented by school fees has been removed,’’ the governor reiterated in the statement.