Development Partners in conjunction with the Benue State Ministry of Education and the State Universal Basic Education Board, SUBEB, have called on Traditional Leaders from Logo and Katsina-Ala Local Government Areas of Benue State to canvass for support for Back To School Campaign programme in the State.
The United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF, Global Partnership for Education, GPE, Federal Ministry of Education, FME, and State Ministry of Education, MOE, in collaboration with SUBEB made the call Wednesday during a meeting held with the traditional leaders at Katsina-Ala and Logo Local Government Areas.
Commissioner of Education, Dr Saawuan Tarnongu, represented by Dr Clement Dyege, appealed to traditional leaders to embrace the campaign, mobilize their subjects to follow suit and inform people about the importance of education.
He further urged the Royal Fathers to sensitize community members to shun common myths, beliefs and religious practices that discourage parents from sending their children to school.
In an address, SUBEB Executive Chairman, Comrade Joseph Utse, represented by the Director Social Mobilization, Mr Emmanuel Ejeh, while handling the technical session at the meeting put the Traditional Leaders through their expected roles in the back to school campaign. He said, as community Leaders, they are to sensitize their subjects, encourage families to take children to school, solicit support from philanthropists, Alumni associations and corporate organizations to ensure enrollment and retention of children in school.
Emmanue Ejeh, representative of SUBEB EC, Joseph Utse
In his fatherly remarks, kindred Head, Mue Ter Ichongo 1 Katsina-Ala, Zaki Tivlumun Ubough said he is aware of the importance of education and is already involved in advocacy and sensitization for education in his community ; hence , he has been canvassing support in worship centres, Youth Organizations and other social gatherings.
District head of Iwar Katsina-Ala, Zaki Kurkyuran Jacob said, he has taken the campaign as his pet project. He also sued for the sustenance of the Programme.
Also speaking, Zaki Ungwave Samuel of Logo LGA said, the issue of inadequate Teachers in basic education schools became a concern in his community and as such, he and his council members devised a means of using their tax payers money and free will donations from individuals in the community to employ ad- hoc Teachers in schools in his domain. This he said, helped to return many children.
Zaki Saalu Terkura of Logo LGA said he and his council members will keep strict surveillance in the community to ensure that no child is found loitering or engaging in other ventures during school hours.
In their separate comments, Zaki Hyacinth Tyogema and Zaki Mbakor Orkor said, they will sensitize community members on the gains of basic education against mushroom schools springing up in their domain.
The Education Secretary Katsina Ala, Mr Jonathan Chagba, and his Logo counterpart, Mrs Terseer Amon all said, the panacea to low school enrollment is in the hands of the community leaders. They therefore, urged the traditional leaders to embrace the campaign.
SUBEB Enrollment Desk Officer, Emmanuella Akese, making Inputs at the meeting
Group photograph at the end of the meeting