Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso of Kano has launched 44 new craft schools to improve technical education in the state.
Speaking during the occasion at the Government House, Kwankwaso disclosed that, with the new institutions, the 50 technical schools now located in almost all the 44 local government areas of the state will consolidate effort aimed at ensuring self reliance among youths.
"We want youths to possess technical skills, and the vision is that some graduates of these schools will become industrialists and while others will graduate into the polytechnics in furtherance of their education", he said, stressing that the aim of the initiative is to foster productivity and reduce poverty.
The governor said the state at the moment is facing severe dearth of technical manpower in key areas of development in both public and private sectors; hence the need for the establishment of the technical schools across the state.
Kwankwaso said with the establishment of the 44 schools, government has created 1,320 jobs, which include the principals and other supporting staff members who received offers of employment during the occasion, adding that the figure will increase to an estimated 6,600 when the colleges start functioning fully.
He pointed out that the opening of these schools is a far-reaching and revolutionary step, marking the beginning of tremendous social and economic change in Kano state.
"As you might well be aware, Kano state had very robust and active technical schools which played significant roles in the physical and infrastructural development in its formative years; but the situation is no longer the same now", the governor lamented.
On the primary education sector, Kwankwaso maintained that within his one year in office, free feeding and distribution of school uniforms to the primary school pupils were successfully re-introduced to encourage enrolment, while more than 1,500 classrooms blocks were constructed with UBEC/SUBEC counter funds amounting to N7.7 billion.
He said, in addition to establishing conventional schools, his administration also reintroduced a boarding primary school in Minjibir local government with two more in the pipeline, stressing that the recent 32 per cent school enrolment ratio in the state was unacceptable.
With such efforts sustained and improved upon, the governor expressed the hope that education for all by 2015 can be attainable.
Meanwhile, during the occasion, Kwankwaso presented start-up tools to 112 young beneficiaries of a six-month government-sponsored vocational training programme.
The curriculum for the schools consists of among others trades of Metalwork, Woodwork, Refrigeration and Air conditioning, Auto Mechanics, Welding and Fabrication, Weaving, Electronics installation, Plumbing, Tailoring, Fashion design and Interior decoration.