By Jide Orintunsin
In line with his free education policy, human capacity development and improved welfare for teachers in the service of Kano State, Kano State Governor Abudullahi Umar Ganduje has signed an agreement to build 5,000 houses for teachers in the state.
The agreement was entered into between the state government and a private real estate developer in Abuja yesterday.
Ganduje, who said the need to restore teachers’ dignity prompted the housing scheme, insisting that henceforth in Kano State, a “teacher reserved area” (TRA) will be allocated to boost the welfare of teachers.
He further said as part of the restoration agenda for the teaching profession, his administration has shifted the retirement age from 60 to 65 years while age of service from 35 to 40 years.
He said when he declared free and compulsory education from primary to secondary school; the intention was to make it accessible to the downtrodden.
He said since 2015 Kano has never missed the payment of counterpart funding for the Universal Basic Education (UBEC).
In line with global best practices, Ganduje said his administration has been allocating 26 per cent of the state’s annual budget to the education sector since the assumption of office.
“Currently the British Council is assisting the state to train and retrain the teachers on the new method of teaching in order to improve the quality of education.
He assured the real estate company of his seriousness to complete the project early, adding that his administration doesn’t believe in abandoned projects.
Commending the state government initiative, Senator Ibrahim Shekarau, representing Kano Central said the housing project “is so dear to the development of education,” adding that of all the projects so far executed in the state, the welfare of the teachers which include housing project is the best.
Shekarau, who was a one-time governor of the state maintained that only happy and committed teachers will produce responsible children. “No nation can grow without quality teachers.”
He said having plans for teachers to retire into a decent home is also Godly. “Only God knows the reward you (Ganduje) will get by investing into the lives of teachers. Only a Godly man will invest in education because many of those who invested in education will not leave to see the result,” he said.
The Commissioner for Education, Mohammed Sanusi Kiru said: “In all the state of the federation, there is no governor that is investing in education like Kano state. We are so happy that you are making our teachers comfortable and we believe that we will see more under your administration.”
The Managing Director of Family Homes, Femi Adewole expressed happiness for his organisation to partner with the Kano state and pledged his company’s commitment to supporting the government in making teachers happy.
Kano State Chairman of Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) Ahmed Ambali appreciated the governor and challenged other state governments to emulate Abdullahi Ganduje.