The Katsina State Governor Dikko Radda on Saturday laid the foundation for the construction of 150 junior and senior secondary schools across the state.
Depending on the population, each of the 34 local government areas of the state will have nothing less than two junior secondary schools and one senior secondary school.
The objective is to improve secondary education opportunities among adolescent girls in the state.
The event which is the first phase of 50 percent being undertaken by the Adolescent Girls Initiative for Learning and Empowerment (AGILE) project is intended to construct 150 secondary schools comprising 90 Junior Secondary Schools (JSS) and 60 Senior Secondary Schools (SSS).
According to the AGILE Coordinator in Katsina State Dr. Mustapha Shehu the idea is to ensure that schools are closer to communities, stating that, the National Policy on Education provides the maximum distance a child should travel or trek before reaching a school.
He explained that each of the schools is expected to serve more than 20 communities that all have primary schools but their children trek more than 10 to 12 kilometres to schools.
According to him, at the end of the construction which will last for 15 months, at least 3,000 students will have access to school as the schools will be running morning and afternoon segments to cover all students and pupils in the catchment communities.
“The schools will provide easy access for all the students. Not only that, it will ensure transition because within the environment. There are going to be junior secondary schools with 10 classrooms, senior secondary schools with 12 classrooms and multipurpose laboratories, chemistry, physics, and biology laboratories, and a lot of toilets and water.
“So, by the end of the construction, we are expecting that up to 3,000 students will have access because it’s going to serve both morning and afternoon due to the population of the LGA and the number of students. Pupils that graduate from Primary 6 and JSS in the catchment communities.
“We have schools here where more than 1,000 pupils finished Primary 6. So, it is going to serve most of the under-served communities.
“From the day of foundation laying, the expected completion and handover, all things being equal is supposed to be not more than 15 months.
“All the 34 LGAs have nothing less than three secondary schools, at least two junior secondary schools, and one senior secondary school. Some of the LGAs have even four and five, it depends on the population,” he explained.
In a related development, cheques worth N1.5 billion have been presented to 15 secondary schools (phase 1) where the benefiting schools get N100 million each for renovation under the AGILE Mega Grant.
The benefiting schools include: GGSS Kabomo, GSS Kofar Kaura, GSS Tsauri, GSS Dankama, GJSS Dangani, GSS Radda, GJSS Yari Bori, GG Technical School Charanchi, Katsina College Katsina Senior, GJSS Matazu, GJSS Tabanni, GJSS Jani, GJSS Kanti Kankia, GJSS Babban Mutum and GJSS Dimurkol.
Governor Radda while performing the ceremony Radda at the Koda/Dambuna community in Charanchi Local Government Area of the State said contractors have already been mobilized where 30 percent of the amount was paid to the contractors.
“We are going to the sites one after the other to make sure that we have laid the foundation and to ensure that there is quality control in the conduct of the exercise throughout the project period.
“The significance of the project is very clear. We are trying to bring schools closer to the communities so that it will ease their sufferings and transportation problems to the community and opportunity will be given to each and every student to have quality education close to his home.
“The N100 million that we have disbursed to 15 schools across the state is to enable the schools to do their community association and do all the necessary things the schools require including furniture, repair of certain infrastructure in the school, running and providing equipment as well as other teaching and learning materials.
“The money given is to be managed by the community themselves through the school community association across the state,” he said.