In the race of life, people who started at the same time seldom finish together. Classmates in Basic Education may not finish Senior Secondary School together; some may drop on the way, others’ progress may be limited by ill health, deviant behaviour or factors beyond their control.
In its efforts to leave no one behind, Kaduna State Government is developing a Policy Implementation framework for an all inclusive Second Chance Education. With technical support from the United Kingdom’s Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office and Partnership to Engage, Reform and Learn (PERL), the programme aims at rehabilitating those who dropped out of school for whatever reason. Irrespective of age or gender, these citizens will get another chance of getting back to school. In this regard, a three-day Technical Workshop was held with stakeholders, to work out the modalities. Named the Second Chance Implementation Plan, the workshop was held at FABS Hotel, Zaria, from 11th to 13th of October, 2021.
In his opening remarks on the first day, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education, Dr. Yusuf Saleh set the ball rolling. According to him, the state already has a Second Chance program, which is supported by UNFD, targeting the adolescent females who dropped out of school as a result of unwanted pregnancy, forced marriage or poverty. However, the new initiative goes beyond adolescent females as it is an all-encompassing policy frame work which cuts across all genders, ages and even People Living With Disabilities.
The aim of the programme, he further emphasized, is to ensure that every citizen of the state has basic education. In addition, Kaduna State Government is striving hard to reduce the number of out-of-school children, that is why basic education is absolutely free and compulsory. The Permanent Secretary pointed out that all citizens should take full advantage of the policy and enroll into the nearest public. The Malam Nasir El-Rufai administration, Dr Saleh reminded, will leave no stone unturned until every child of school age leaves the streets and returns to the classroom.
On his own part, the PERL Reform Facilitation Manager, Ashiru Sani, commended the state government for the reforms in the education sector. These reforms, according to him, will guide in the development of the Second Chance All Inclusive Policy Framework. The focus is to get all out-of-school children back to school no matter their ages, gender or disability. The Facilitation Manager promised that the outcome of all deliberations at the workshop, will be forwarded to the State Executive Council for review and further implementation.
From infrastructure development, competency test for teachers and employing suitably qualified people to teach in public schools, including overhauling scholarship through Kaduna State Scholarship and Loans Board, where students get scholarship in a transparent manner, Governor Nasir El-Rufai has given education a new lease of life in Kaduna state.