The Presidential Committee on Northeast Initiative (PCNI), has commence the distribution of instructional materials worth over N800 million to students and teachers in Gombe, Bauchi and Taraba States.
The Vice Chairman of PCNI, Alhaji Tijjani Tumsa, who disclosed this in Gombe on Thursday while flagging off the second phase of distribution of the materials said the gesture is an effort to reduce the high rate of out of school children in northeast Nigeria.
He disclosed that, 6,700 teachers as well 67,700 primary, junior and secondary schools will benefit from the gesture in the entire Northeast.
He said, there was great need for the intervention so as to impact on the children of Gombe State and the Northeast in general because the region has the highest out of school children in Nigeria, if not the world.
According to him, “the Northeast has the most out of school children in Nigeria, if not in the world and the indices that are associated with the States in the Northeast particularly when it comes to the Northeast, have been very low. You find out that most of them are in the bottom part of the educational indices”.
He explained that the schools will be determined by partners of the PCNI which include State Governments, Teachers Associations and SUBEB structures in the States. “We are going to work in collaboration with our stakeholders and we will determine who needs these materials the most and then we will allocate as appropriate”, he added.
Alhaji Tumsa stated further that PCNI have initiated modalities where community based organizations, civil society based organizations and PCNI offices in the States to monitor and evaluate the impact of the interventions.
The instructional materials for the students which come in different categories mostly included school bags, lunch boxes, text books, writing materials among many others while for the teachers; it included markers, masking/cello tapes liquid gums and many others.
In their separate remarks, the Gombe State Commissioner for Education, Alhaji Ishaku Abdullahi, Chairman of the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Professor Mohammed Gurama as well as the representative of Gombe State in the PCNI, Alhaji Aliyu Kamara, all commended the intervention which they said will go a long way in further improving on what the administration had already laid in the education sector of the State.