From Yakubu Busari, Jos
The Federal Government has earmarked Plateau state for the commencement of its planned N-power program for Junior schools with no fewer than 200 pupils to be trained in computer and ICT towards improving the quality of the learning environment .
The Executive Assistant to the Governor Simon Lalong on Social intervention Programme, SIP, Dr Sumaye Hamza said the state was selected for the pilot scheme in the North Central geo-political zone of the country.
Dr Hamza in an interview with our correspondent said the junior social intervention programme under the office of Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo would start at the Obasanjo Model School , Hwolshe , Jos South Local Government Council.
She said: “We have a team from the office of the Vice- President which came to survey some of the schools and we went round some of the schools before we eventually chose Obasanjo Model school as one of the pilot school.”
Hamza stressed that solar power would also be provided so that the project which is “100 per cent funded by federal government with the state government only providing space and maximum cooperation, would ensure the children learn computer hands on without any challenge just like any other child in an affluent environment.”
She also disclosed that the school feeding program has witnessed some challenges due to inadequate data to capture the actual number of beneficiaries and hoped that the visiting team from the Federal Government would help straighten things out.
Though she stated there was evidence to show that the programmed has gained ground as many schools have keyed into it, she however expressed shock that pupils were seen eating with their palms.
She said: “I really got shocked that the pupils are feeding through their palms. That is not allowed. We can’t tolerate such unwelcome practices. The Federal Government had provided each school with eating utensils that are made available across the benefiting schools.
“We are calling on parents and leaders of benefiting schools to ensure that accurate report reach the appropriate authority so that it can sanction those who are engaged in this unwelcomed act. We would have to engage those who know the area very well.
She threatened that government shall deal decisively with “those caught diverting public primary schools funds meant for the betterment of Nigeria child”.
Also speaking Mr Ola Royimi Shodimu, the team leader in charge of the N-power Project in the construction of classrooms and equipping them with computers and furniture said the project would have positive impact in the educational system.
“The plan is to see how the learning environment can be reposition to create conducive learning environment for students and to promote ICT knowledge,” she said