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Kidnapped Kaduna schoolchildren rescued without ransom – Education minister

The Minister of Education, Prof Tahir Mamman, has disclosed that no ransom was paid in securing the release of pupils of LEA Primary School and Government Secondary School, Kuriga in Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

The minister disclosed this on Monday while delivering a speech at the two-day capacity building of desk officers under the Federal Ministry of Education on the Implementation, Collation, Harmonization and Reportage of Federal Government Presidential Priority Areas/Ministerial Deliverables and Roadmap for the Education Sector.

He commended President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and security agencies in ensuring the freedom of the students.

The minister, however, sympathised with the family of a staff member of the school who died in captivity.

Prof Mamman said following the challenges in the education sector, the ministry had plans to work towards generating data on all schools in Nigeria irrespective of where they are located.

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“We need to know every single student and teacher in every school in Nigeria because data has eluded us for too long. We need data to no the trends of learning in schools, location of schools, the infrastructure, the ratio of both male and female, out of school children and in school children as well as the conditions of the schools,” he said.

Prof Mamman said the school data would help the ministry to advise the state governments to move to do the right thing.

The minister also decried the rate of learning crisis in the country saying a report submitted to him showed that some pupils found it difficult to identify numbers while many could neither read nor solve simple mathematical questions.

He however noted that impacting soft basic skills on students was a part of the ministry’s plans towards achieving its deliverables.

He said the training was aimed at enhancing the capacity to track, collate, harmonize and report progress in the implementation of the Ministerial Deliverables and the Education Sector Roadmap.

“It will further ensure that government policies and programmes are effectively tracked and implemented,” he added.

The minister urged the participants to turn in timely, credible and reliable report of the activities, programmes and projects of their departments and organisations.

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