By Joy Odor
The Federal Govt today has flagged off the Better Education Service Delivery For All (BESDA) program in Zamfara State, targeting the enrollment of 148,000 children that are currently out of school in the state.
Shortly before the lunch of the program, Minister of State for Education, Hon Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba paid homage on His Royal Highness, the Emir of Gusau, Alh.(DR) Ibrahim Bello (Sarkin Katsina Gusau).
He told the Emir that the Federal Govt is proud of the strong ranking of the 14th position of Zamfara State in the commity of States on the National Common Entrance Examination ratings in terms of the number of applications vying to get into the nation’s Unity colleges.
Hon Nwajiuba was also on hand for a courtesy call on His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Zamfara State, Alh. Bello Mohamed where he lauded the achievements of the Govterment of Zamfara State especially in the area of Basic and Secondary Education which have manifested in the current position of Zamfara State in the National Common Entrance Examination ratings from the last to 14 position in the commity of States of the Federation.
The Minister said they will soon take advantage of it’s competitive edge over other states if the BESDA program is implemented faithfully, having already enrolled 19,000 children.
The Minister revealed that the BESDA program has already enrolled over one million children in states where it has so far been launched.
Reacting to the econiums from the HMSE, Gov Bello assured the Minister that his administration will double its efforts in ensuring that the right to quality education for the children of Zamfara State is not compromised.
The Gov said, his administration will leave no stone unturned to change the narrative in the field of Education and other areas of endeavour in the state.
He requested the Minister to give Zamfara some weavers or work out a payment schedule in relation to monies owed the National examination bodies.
Hon Nwajiuba assured the Governor that a comfortable payment schedule will be worked out for ZAMFARA State
While cutting the tape for the flag off of BESDA program in the state, the Gov revealed that the state has paid up all it’s counterpart funds to UBEC up to date which has enabled it to provide classrooms and other facilities, including absorbing all returnee amajeries from other states into conventional schools.
His Excellency noted that the intervention of BESDA will go a long way in solving the challenges of out of school children for which he has declared a state of emergency in the Gov Bello revealed that the state is currently clearing all outstanding bills in the education sector including counterpart funding from UBEC.
Results are already filtering in as the state has moved from the last position on NECO common Entrance Examination to the 14 position in the country.
Gov Bello expressed appreciation to President Buhari, the Minister Adamu Adamu,world bank and other development partners in moving Zamfara forward in the field of Education.