Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq yesterday flagged-off projects in 600 schools in the state.
Speaking at the flag-off ceremony in Otte, Asa local government area of the state, the governor said the projects were a combination of the 2014 to 2019 Universal Basic Education Commission-SUBEB interventions that got stuck as a result of the previous administration’s failure to fulfill its obligations as well as diverting the matching grants it received in 2013.
The projects include statewide wholesale re-modelling of schools, construction of new classrooms, rehabilitation of existing ones, construction of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) facilities, information and communication facilities, training and retraining of teachers, AbdulRazaq said.
“Nearly one decade after meaningful investments in basic education infrastructure stopped across our state, we are this morning flagging-off massive construction, rehabilitation, remodelling, and furnishing of hundreds of basic schools across Kwara State.
“This is the outcome of a strategic new beginning between our administration and the Universal Basic Education Commission. Kwara’s relationship with UBEC broke down in 2013 when the former regime diverted the matching grants for school development. This brought Kwara to the rock bottom in the area of basic education infrastructure,” he said.
“We had to pay back the diverted funds. Then we saved up to access the N7bn grants that had piled up between 2014 and 2019.
“There will be construction of four new classrooms across 61 locations, three new classrooms in 64 locations and two new classrooms in 116 locations. Apart from this, some 1,335 classrooms will be rehabilitated across the state. We will also dig 89 boreholes and construct 78 pour-flush toilets. Some 29,005 units of student furniture and 7,474 units of teachers’ furniture will be provided.
“Kwara is evidently poised to breed a new generation of digital natives. Therefore, we will also be constructing digital literacy centres across 40 school locations. They will be furnished with computers, solar panels and generators. They can be used for CBT centres, thereby opening up the state for unprecedented ICT growth. The intervention also covers training and retraining of our teachers,” the governor added.