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By Stephen Adeleye.
The Kogi Government has reiterated its determination to collaborate with private sector for the development of education, science and technology in the state.
The State’s Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Mrs Rosemary Osikoya, gave the assurance at a meeting with the Eje of Dekina, Dr Usman Obaje, at his place in Dekina.
The meeting was premised on a written communication to the ministry by the monarch on behalf of Heritage College of Education, seeking to use some portion of Government Science Secondary School (GSSS) Dekina, as temporary site for the establishment of “Heritage College of Education, Dekina”.
The commissioner assured the monarch of government’s willingness to partner with any community, individual, group or organisation, who are ready to bring educational development to Kogi state.
She said that the federal and Kogi Governments had declared ‘state of emergency’ in education, and would create the enabling environment for private sector participation.
She noted that a report by UNICEF recently, revealed that Nigeria has over 10 to 12 million out-of-children, and over 65 million illiterates, which is the highest in the world.
“We want to work with the traditional institution and other stakeholders to help educate, encourage and bring our youths and children back to school especially for non-formal education.
“The state government appreciate and welcome private investment in education sector, we are excited that people are coming to take responsibilities.
“We want to ensure that quality teaching and learning are carried out in our schools particularly at the basic education level.
“I am happy that communities have realised that delivering quality education to our children is a collective responsibility of everybody,” she said.
The commissioner said that a committee would be set up by the ministry to look into the request, and send the report of the committee to the governor and the council for consideration.
She, however, urged the representative of the proposed Heritage College of Education to formalise their request with the necessary details to the ministry for official notification and consideration.
In his remarks, the Eje of Dekina, Dr Usman Obaje, commended Gov Yahaya Bello for his goodwill towards the people of Dekina, and eulogised the commissioner for her hardwork and for honuring his letter.
“For the past 23 years on this throne, I have never witnessed these kind of commitments we are experiencing under this present administration of Gov. Bello.
“The situation in Dekina is pathetic in terms of education, we are far behind in spite being one of the oldest LGAs in Nigeria. We are very grateful to this government”, Obaje said.
He, therefore, appealed to the state government through the commissioner to consider their request, saying it would bring development to the area.
Mr Paul Sule, the Acting Registrar, Heritage College of Education, who represented the President of the college, Pastor Tony Chukwudili, thanked the government for given them the needed attention.
He said that the monarch through the community had allocated some hectares of land to them as the school permanent site, but they needed a temporary site for immediate take off.
According to Sule, the Heritage College of Education was founded by Pastor Tony Chukwudili, with the Headquarters at Ilorin, Kwara State.
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