Yoruba, Nupe, Fulani and Batonun
Yoruba, Nupe and Baruba
Kwara State administrative structure comprises the Governor’s Office and State Ministries. The current Ministries include Education and Human Capital Development; Planning and Economic Development; Finance; Information and Home Affairs; Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs; Justice; Works and Transport; Tertiary Education; Health; Agriculture & Natural Resources; Water Resources; Energy; Sports and Youth Development; Commerce & Cooperatives; Women Affairs; Social Welfare and Culture; Industry; Land and Housing; Environment & Tourism.
Kwara is renowned for its tranquil nature. Over the years, it has offered a safe haven for many who desire a peaceful place to stay where there are no ethnic or religious conflicts. Thus, the state has a diversified population. Kwara is known as the State of Harmony.
For leisure and site-seeing, the state has important places to visit including the Owu Falls in Ifelodun LGA; Imoleboja Rock Shelter and Adin and Black Soap Industry both in Oke-Ero LGA; Dada Pottery in Ilorin; Jebba Tourist/Historical Sites in Moro LGA; Kainji Lake National Park; Ningurume Fish Pond in Baruten LGA; Ero-Omola Falls located 100 kilometres from Ilorin; Watana Rocks, Traditional Weaving Centres, Alfa Alimi’s Mosque and Residence, all in Ilorin; the Okuta-Ilorin from which the city of Ilorin derives its name; Esie Museum in Irepodun LGA and the Olofa Palace in Offa LGA.
Kwara State is located in the North-Central geo-political zone of Nigeria. It has a population of 2,365,353 (2006) and accounts for 1.6% of the Nigerian population. Its economy is based on crop production and animal rearing, with some small-scale manufacturing, and government-driven economic activities. Its capital is Ilorin.
Although Kwara is among the six poorest states in Nigeria, the current State Government is noted for its commitment to a reform agenda. “The Legacy Continues” is a declaration of the State Government’s resolve to carry forward the reform agenda started by the previous administration.
The Education Sector, through the Ministry of Education and Human Capital Development (MoEHCD) and the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), is committed to a total transformation of the sector through its “Every Child Counts” policy. The policy is hinged on four principles namely, improved teacher quality, better school inspection, greater accountability and stronger institutions.
ESSPIN is supporting the state to make better use of its resources to plan, manage, deliver and monitor services. SUBEB now accesses funds regularly from the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC). This is because the State Government is committed to prompt payment of the counterpart fund. The counterpart fund is now a consistent part of the state’s annual budget.
The new institutional and systems arrangement has removed duplication of offices and provided definite roles and responsibilities. The Strategic Plans of the Ministry and SUBEB of 2010 – 2013 are being reviewed to reflect the present institution and systems. The roles of the State School Improvement Team (SSIT), School Support Officers (SSOs), Education Secretaries (ESs), Community Education Management Information Systems (C-EMIS), Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) units, and the Quality Assurance Bureau (QAB) are now clear and distinct. Information/data gathered from the offices now feed into the Annual Education Sector Performance Review (AESPR).
Reports from the Annual School Census (ASC) and the AESPR are now presented annually to stakeholders in an organised forum. Reports and comments from the stakeholders’ forum have continued to support the planning and budget cycle.The ASC and the AESPR, among other achievements, have continued to place the education sector on top of the list for activity-based budgeting and planning.
ESSPIN has introduced a fit-for-purpose design for classrooms and furniture, replicated in all primary schools within the state. The designs are for child-centred teaching and learning. ESSPIN has also initiated prototype rural teachers housing for the state and Local Government Area (LGA). The capacity of Local Government project officers have also been improved through supervision. Through the ASC, the selection of schools for intervention has shifted from political patronage to needs-based.
With ESSPIN's support, the SSIT was established in 2009 with the responsibility of ensuring quality improvement in schools. To achieve this, the SSIT is supporting the Local Government Education Authority (LGEA) advisory staff to train head teachers on leadership and management, and teachers on numeracy and literacy.
The SSIT has completed trainings for Primary 1-3 teachers on the use of lesson plans. The team is also developing lesson plans for Primary 4-6 teachers before organising atraining for them. The training, like that of Primary 1 – 3 teachers, will be based on the use of lesson plans for literacy and numeracy.
ESSPIN and SSIT have also started a monthly training cycle based on teaching aids, classroom management, assessment and teacher-pupil relationship. This training cycle focuses on one week training for the SSIT, one week training for the SSOs, and 2 weeks for the SSOs to implement the training during their regular school support visits. The school-based training is a significant part of the training cycle combining both theory and practice.
The SSIT has also supported their colleagues in Kano, Jigawa, Kaduna, Lagos and Enugu, training them on Literacy & Numeracy, and the use of lesson plans.
ESSPIN’s mandates towards communities in Kwara State include building government capacity and providing help to schools and communities. ESSPIN has supported the state with provision of water and sanitation facilities in needy schools.
The State Government is partnering with other stakeholders to ensure quality basic education delivery. This partnership has led to the development of state-specific School-Based Management Policy. The policy clarifies the roles and responsibilities of School-Based Management Committees (SBMCs).
SBMCs comprise of fifteen (15) members drawn from different professions and roles within the community. ESSPIN supported the capacity development of SBMC members starting with 4 Local Government Areas (LGAs) out of the sixteen (16) LGAs in the state. 8 LGAs are now benefitting from the initiative through government buy-in to 4 other LGAs. There have been consistent mentoring and monitoring visits in the initial 4 LGAs to strengthen their capacity and enhance their functionality.The SBMCs in the 4 LGAs have taken ownership of their schools to monitor performance for delivery of quality basic education. SBMCs have also contributed over N16million so far to improve the quality of education children receive. There are other evidences of the impact the SBMCs are making on school improvement. The State is planning to scale-up the process of SBMCs to both Junior and Senior Secondary Schools.
Kwara State has completed her 2012/2013 Annual Schools Census (ASC). The activity was led by the Department of Planning, Research and Statistics (PRS) of State Ministry of Education and Human Capital Development (MoEHCD). The activity aimed at data collection for educational planning. At the flag-off ceremony attended by the Permanent Secretary of Bureau of Statistics and that of the MoEHCD representing the Honourable Commissioner for Education, the Director for PRS Alh. Rasaq Alabere reiterated that “Kwara State is one of the few states that has been able to conduct the Annual School Census, print and disseminate the report for the fourth consecutive year.” He pointed out that “The success so achieved is also strongly attributable to the technical and financial support of ESSPIN.” He not only celebrated the successes of the past years, but also let out the challenges of the process: “The issue of fund is a challenge that is making us work behind schedule but happily, we are being supported by ESSPIN.” “Another challenge is the reluctance from private schools to give information and data,” he added.
To tackle the challenge of withholding information, the Permanent Secretary of the State Bureau of Statistics, Alhaji Ibrahim Nasiru disclosed that the Kwara State Government has enacted a law to support collection of basic data on schools in the state. According to the law, any school proprietor that conceals data or refuses to give basic information, falsifies required data, molests officials or turns them away, would either be made to pay a fine of 100,000 Naira or sent to prison.
To ensure the success of the ASC 2013, the Education Secretaries (ESs), Heads of Sections HoSs), School Support Officers (SSOs), staff of Education Management Information System (EMIS) at the ministry, the State Monitoring Team, ESSPIN staff, supervisors and enumerators and the civil society actively collaborated. Between 2010 and 2012, Kwara State has successfully carried out her ASC and has used data for activity-based planning to improve education within the state through her participatory Medium-Term Sector Strategy (MTSS).
A meeting between the Ministry of Education and Human Capital Development (MoEHCD), the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) and the Education Sector Support Programme In Nigeria (ESSPIN) was held in the office of the Honourable Commissioner for Education, Kwara State on Thursday the 16th of May, 2013.
The meeting which now holds every month discusses a wide range of issues and reports for quality basic education delivery including capacity building for education stakeholders and personnel, and service delivery, among others. Participants at the meeting comprised the Honourable Commissioner for Education, the Chairman of SUBEB, Directors and Public Relations Officers from SUBEB and the Ministry, and ESSPIN Technical Team.
During the last meeting the Honourable Commissioner, Alhaji SakaOnimago, who is the chairman of the meeting, acknowledges its importance when he said, “It is important that we have this occasion to review our collaboration. ESSPIN has holistically supported our education sector and we can see the outcome of the interventions. This meeting creates time for us as Ministry, SUBEB and ESSPIN to carry out an on-going planning and feedback for the education sector.” Without limiting collaboration to the meeting alone, the Honourable Commissioner admonished the education managers that the state government remains open to relevant discussions that will help deliver quality education to children in Kwara.
Co-ordinating and sustaining the tripartite meeting is a result of the six-month consistent effort from ESSPIN Kwara. Similar meetings were last held in May 2012 but could not be sustained due to managerial issues within the state. No meeting was held between June and December 2012. It however got revived in January 2013 and has since been a consistent process.