School children at the Central Primary school Jalingo, the Taraba state capital are learning sitting on the bare floor despite the state government’s claim to have spent N3.4 billion on primary education in two years.
The Taraba state government in the year 2018 approved N1, 649,274,074.00 for its universal basic education board, also in the year 2019 same basic education board got N1, 786,713,570.69 approval from the state budget, making a total of N3, 435,987,644 approvals for primary education in just two years.
Apart from the approval for the years 2018 and 2019, in 2020 the state budgeted the sum of N1, 947,517,792.05 for basic education and N1,122,794,393.34 in 2021.
However, apart from the over N5 billion that has been approved to be expended on the state basic education, the Taraba state government in the last three years had allocated N23 billion to education.
The state budget breakdown shows that in 2019, education got N8, 355,032,016.80 approval, while 2020 it got N9, 190,535,218.48 estimate and 2021 N10, 109,588,740.33.
Worse still, despite the huge amount the Taraba state government claims to have expended on education, Central Primary school Jalingo is in a terrible condition with a grave infrastructural deficit.
Mr. Magaji, one of the parents in the school, accused the Taraba State Government of diverting the monies meant for education.
According to him, the poor quality of education in the state calls for massive efforts across the board to be addressed.
This is even as he disclosed that three of his friends who are teachers in the state are been owed salaries for months, while others have since abandoned teaching and went into farming as alternative means of survival.
“No one in Taraba State is surprised about the poor quality of education, the government does not care, what you see here is better than what is obtainable in rural communities,” Magaji said.
Tracka, a public accountability organization that first exposed the despicable nature of the school, showed how primary 2 and 3 children sit on the bare floor during classes.
Central Primary school Jalingo, is not an exception, across the Nigerian state, there are examples showing how terrible education has become. In some communities, there are no structures at all while school kids learn under trees.
This is even as states, local and federal governments on an annual basis allocate and expend a huge amount of money on education. Amounts that often end up in individual pockets, a behaviour that is fueled by corruption which has denied the Nigerian state growth and development.
MAWA Foundation could not immediately reach out to the Taraba State Government for an official response.