The Kogi State Government is to provide standard sports facilities in three selected schools with one located in each of the state’s senatorial districts, according to Mrs. Rosemary Osikoya, commissioner for education, science and technology.
“Provision for the construction of the standard sports facilities was captured in the 2019 budget. The goal is to promote more competitive sporting activities in the secondary schools,” Osikoya said on Friday in Lokoja.
Osikoya spoke when she received the state’s contingent to the 21st National Zonal Elimination Playoffs of the Nestle Milo Basketball Secondary Schools Under-16 Competition held in Minna, Niger State.
“For us to have a holistic education, we will need to pay strong attention to sporting activities in schools.
“In strengthening the quality of education in the state, Gov. Yahaya Bello is looking at all the factors that are critical; sporting activities in schools is one of them.
“When we resumed office, we found that there were no sporting facilities and infrastructure in our schools, that is why the governor decided to include that in the 2019 budget,” Osikoya said.
She regretted that the few schools that had sporting facilities did not have physical education teachers.
“The ministry is reviewing the recruitment of sports teachers and how they are spread in schools,” she said.
The commissioner commended the teams for their brilliant performance at the competition in spite the challenges, and for making the state proud.
She expressed excitement over the selection of one of players in the male team, John Godwin, to the National Under-16 Basketball championship in Lagos.
Crowther Memorial College, Lokoja, represented the state in the boys category, while Sacred Hearts Marist College, Ejule represented the state in the girls category.
Both teams emerged fourth in the tournament.
Mr Gwatana Silver, Sports Desk Officer of the Ministry, in a remark, commended the Kogi government for the decision to construct new facilities, including three basketball courts, in the three senatorial zones.
He urged the government to also improve and upgrade the available facilities in some of the schools across the state.
“The government is doing its best, but I believe the private sector should come in and support basketball to bring these young ones up and put them on the platform where they can excel,” Silver said.