United Nations Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF) is to partner with Katsina State towards reduction of the average rate of 114 pupils per class in the state.
Speaking during the presentation of the state Annual School Census, 2015-2016 Report, to critical stakeholders in the education sector at the state Education Resource Centre (ERC), the Chief of UNICEF Field Office in Katsina, Padmavathi Yedla, advised the present administration to maximize all opportunities to boost the education sector.
Represented by her education specialist, Muntaka Mukhtar Mohammed, the UNICEF zonal chief added that the state was facing low girl child enrolment, inadequate sources of water for sanitation and hygiene in schools and negligible number of female teachers in rural communities among others.
The annual school census shows 154 pupils per teacher in the local government council with the highest ratio while the council with the lowest ratio posted 44 pupils per teacher.
On male – female teacher ratio, the census revealed that in Katsina Local Government Council where over 60 per cent of its teachers were female, the area had almost equal number of male and female pupils’ enrolment unlike other parts of the state.
UNICEF, Yedla assured, would also assist the state in provision of bore holes in hundreds of schools across Katsina, pointing out that 64 per cent of primary schools and 19 per cent of secondary schools in the state had no access to water supply.
Responding, the State Commissioner for Education, Prof. Halimatu Sa’adiyya Idris, said the dissemination of the annual school census report is in line with the present administration’s change agenda and the priority given to education sector by Governor Aminu Bello Masari administration.
Idris, who was represented by Director of Quality Assurance in the ministry, Alhaji Umar Abdulahi, pledged the commitment of the government to continue to partner with UNICEF and other development partners to overcome the challenges bedeviling the education sector in the state.
“The objective of the presentation, among other things, is to disseminate the census conducted in this academic session to all the education stakeholders with a view to serving as a source of reliable education data for future education planning and statistical purposes,” she said.