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FCTA begins rehabilitation of public schools

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… grants N280m scholarship to over 130,000 indigent students


Favour Ishember, Abuja

Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Nyesom Wike, has flagged-off the rehabilitation of 19 public schools across the six area councils of the FCT, on Thursday, in Abuja, with a stern warning to the Treasury Department not to frustrate the Renewed Hope Agenda of Mr President.

Sounding the note of warning at the FCT School for the Gifted, the Minister said, the current administration was not just focused on providing access to education, but will ensure it provides quality education through the provision of conducive teaching and learning environment for all children in the territory.

He disclosed that the funding for the rehabilitation project was from the 2023 Supplementary Budget, adding that an additional 20 schools will also benefit from the initiative through the “whole-school rehabilitation approach” under the 2024 supplementary budget.

Recall that the FCT Administration had in January, 2024, announced that it was committing the sum of N13.1 billion for the renovation and rehabilitation of 40 schools, under the accelerated whole-school rehabilitation approach.

The whole school rehabilitation approach was designed to rehabilitate the entire school infrastructure and facilities, including toilets, hostels, dining and provision of furniture and

In the words of the Minister:”Today we are here to flag-off the rehabilitation and reconstruction of 19 schools. These 19 schools is based from the Supplementary Budget of 2023. I want to assure you that for 2024 Budget, we are also going to select another 20 schools for rehabilitation and reconstruction.

” I thank all of you, and I thank the students, and I want to assure you that all the expectations will be met. It is not only access to education. If you give access to education without quality, then you have not given education. While we are providing access, we must also provide quality.

And quality entails that one, the environment must be conducive, the environment must be something that is habitable, the hostels and where you take care of yourself is very important. So be assured that we will give you the best. We are looking into the teachers too, how we are going to provide quality teachers to teach our students”, he said.

“As Minister of State said, education is key to every development. It’s the mandate of Mr President that we must not only sponsor education, we must also take health. I can assure you that now that the budget has been passed, we will come back to Gwagwalada for the General Hospital and make sure you are given the best.

“Let me assure the contractors that nobody will be owed. I made sure that before I left the office, I had made sure your mobilisation was sent to the bank. I have told the treasury that woe betide anybody who sabotages the effort of this present government lead by President Tinubu.”

Earlier, the Minister of State, Dr Mariya Mahmoud, while appreciating the FCT Minister for his doggedness in achieving the Renewed Hope Agenda of Mr President, noted that the minister has been to Gwagwalada Area Council thrice, this year, to deliver the dividends of democracy to the people.

She said the current administration is poised at improving infrastructure development and so the team will be back again to provide infrastructural development in the health sector.

In her words, “We will soon be back to Gwagwalada to deliver infrastructural development in the health sector.”

On his part, the Mandate Secretary for Education, Dr. Danlami Hayyo, stated that the rehabilitation work is an indication that the administration is not only focused on construction of roads, but also investing in the future generation through Education.

He recalled that only recently, the minister approved over N280million scholarship to fresh indigent students in the FCT.

Meanwhile, the contractor in charge of the project, Engr. Osondu Ekwekwe, while congratulating the minister for the giant strides achieved in the FCT, appreciated him for remembering the FCT School for the Gifted, Gwagwalada.

He pointed that the school was in urgent need for an intervention, as most of its facilities were dilapidated and a far cry from what a school should be.

An assessment by the contractor shows that about 16 classroom blocks were completely dilapidated, while the school’s 1.8 kilometer perimeter fence had collapsed, leaving the school accessible to herders and other invaders.

“The school is currently not conducive for learning and habitation. Most of the students defecate in the open due to the absence of toilet among other amenities. You have to hold your breath if you go to the back of the classrooms because the students defecate in the open. Most of the classroom blocks are completely dilapidated. Let me assure you, Honourable Minister, on behalf of the contractors handling other rehabilitation work at other schools, that we will deliver on this project on time.

In his address earlier, the Mandate Secretary of the Education Secretariat, Dr Danlami Hayyo, disclosed that the Minister had approved the sum of N280m as scholarship for over 130,000 indigent students of the FCT, across all levels of education.

He added that the schools’ rehabilitation initiative was about laying the foundation for the children’s future.

“As we flag-off the rehabilitation of several schools across the FCT, this initiative is mot just about brick and mortar, it s about laying the foundation for a brighter future for our children.

Permit me to state that the Honorable Minister recently graciously approved the disbursement of the total sum of N280,296,000 as a scholarship to 13,964 fresh and existing indigent students, across all levels of education in the FCT.

This is to ensure that no child is left behind. Also, for the first time in 25 years, the Schools Sports Festival was held successfully. All these are testaments to the Honorable Minister’s commitment to the total development of our future leaders”, he said.

Daily Champion observed that the 19 contractors had taken possession of site and work has commenced across the 19 schools pencilled down in the first phase of the accelerated whole-school rehabilitation project.

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