Tension is brewing over an alleged plan by Kaduna-North local government council to sell four public primary schools in the area against the public interest.
The four primary schools slated to be sold, as alleged by the Doka branch of the School-based Management Committee, in a petition to the State Governor, Nasir el-Rufa’i, are Kaduna Local Education Authority (LEA) Primary School Gwari Road and LEA Primary School, Muri Road. Others are LEA Girls Primary School, Lagos Street, and LEA Primary School, Ahmadu Bello Stadium 1, all in Kaduna-North Local Government Area.
The petition was jointly signed by the SBMC Chairman, Primary School Gwari Road, Hamza Usman; SBMC Chairman, Primary School, Muri Road, AbdulHakeem Adeyemi, and the SBMC Chairman, Primary School Lagos Street, Magaji Alkasim.
The committees said that the affected primary schools not only served the less-privileged but served the communities of Unguwan Shaba, Kabala, Unguwan Liman and Unguwan Maiburuji. They argued that selling the schools to unspecified buyers, would deprive poor pupils access to primary education, adding that the development would also increase the level of out of school children in the affected communities.
“The development will also lead to an upsurge in the number of street children and child hawkers due to termination of learning. We, therefore, implore your Excellency to order the Chairman of the council to refrain from his decision to sell the schools”, they pleaded.
When contacted, the Education Secretary of the local government, Mamuda Suleiman, simply said, “I have nothing to say about that”. However, the Council Chairman, Mukhtar Baloni, told newsmen that the plans had not been concluded as erroneously perceived by the SBMCs and other members of the public.
Baloni dismissed the allegation, describing it as a mere “political blackmail” to smear the work of the APC-led government in the eyes of the public in order to score some political points. According to him, what the Council was considering but had not concluded was to merge and relocate some schools to where they would be most needed. He said that Kaduna-North local government council had been the epicentre of Kaduna metropolis, which over time, had experienced population explosion and a shift in the concentration of the public.
The chairman said there would be stakeholders’ engagement, the governor’s consent as well as the consent of the community members before concluding on the issue.