By Philip Yatai
Kaduna State Government said on Monday that it expended N380.7 million on payments of National Examination Council (NECO) and National Business and Technical Examinations Board (NABTEB) fees for 33,750 students.
The state’s Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Ja’afar Sani, who made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kaduna added that the amount was spent between 2016 and 2018.
Sani explained that N363.6 million was spent on NECO examination fees for 32,032 students and N17.2 million on NABTEB fees for 1,716 students.
He noted that quite a number of secondary school students drop out of school after reaching senior secondary school because they could not raise money to pay for NECO or NABTEB examination fees.
The commissioner said that the government had to come in with such support to improve the completion rate of students, particularly the girl child, and academically sound students, particularly those from poor families.
“The state government has declared free education from primary one to junior secondary school, and free education for the girl child up to senior secondary school to reduce financial burden on parents.
“The payment of examination fees and the free education was to ensure that we removed all barriers that stand between our children and education in Kaduna state.
“All we want is to ensure that every child in Kaduna state has access to quality education rich or poor, in rural or urban areas,” he said.
The commissioner said that the state government would continue to support parents in the educational development of their children towards building a learned population that would contribute to the development of the state.
He urged parents to continue to support government efforts in its quest to improve schools’ infrastructure, provide learning materials and ensure quality teaching and learning in public schools.