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Mrs. Iara Oshiomhole

Bauchi government offers free education to IDPs; Iara Oshiomhole trains 160 on ICT, others

Gov. Mohammed Abubakar of Bauchi State
Gov. Mohammed Abubakar of Bauchi State
Mrs. Iara Oshiomhole
Mrs. Iara Oshiomhole

From: RUTH JAMES,Bauchi and AGENE GODWIN, Benin

In order to alleviate the plight of Internally Displaced Persons, IDP, in the state, the Bauchi State government has offered free education to IDPs residing in the state.

The State UNICEF Focal Person Assisted Project Officer, Umar Sani, who disclosed this Tuesday during a one day Education in Emergency EIE Working Group monthly progress meeting at the Ministry of Education in Bauchi stated that the state government developed a state education contingency plan to ensure continuity in learning during and after emergency situations.

Due to challenges of insecurity experienced in the neighbouring States of Yobe, Adamawa and Borno, he said that there have been a massive influx of IDPs residing in the state and the state government has decided to shoulder the burden of financing their education.

According to him, “the state government has ensured that the IDPs, particularly the children are integrated into the formal education system whereby they are enrolled into primary, secondary, J.S.S class because education is the right of every child.”

He added, “there is what we call the education crisis response, a programme carried out by USAID, whereby the IDPs are educated. Under this programme, they acquire literacy skills such as reading and writing as well as acquiring other basic skills before they are fully integrated into the society.”

Umar disclosed that the government is planning to commence the building of additional classrooms and renovation projects in schools in the state to accommodate the increasing influx of IDPs in schools and make the classrooms a child friendly environment.

In Edo State, wife of the Governor, Mrs Iara Oshiomhole, has on her part, concluded the training of 160 Internally Displaced Persons on Information and Communications Technology (ICT), food processing, creative arts and fisheries.
The training was undertaken under Mrs Oshiomhole’s pet project, “We Care Trust” to prepare the IDPs for productive life after camp.
Speaking at the closing ceremony where certificates were issued to participants of the programme, Mrs. Oshiomhole said she was impressed with their performance and quick learning.
According to her “we came here ten days ago to do the flag off, and we returned a few days after to catch up with the students to see how they were doing. To my surprise, they were doing extremely well.
“Of course, when you have a wonderful training, you cannot do anything less than extremely well. So, I thank the facilitators for the training and I thank the students for dedicating time to the training and giving your best, because from what you were able to produce after the training, I know for sure that the best was given. I am extremely proud.”
On her part, Special Adviser to the Governor on Special Duties, Hajia Mamunat Momodu thanked the Edo Governor’s wife for putting up a training programme for the IDPs.
She said: “I want to say we are really grateful, and we pray that God will bless you because whoever does anything for an orphan does it for God. They do not have parents who will come here to sing your praises and thank you. We believe whatever you do for them will make their tomorrow better, and I pray that the resources you have put into training these children will not be in vain.
“I always believe in that adage that says teach a man how to fish rather than give him a fish because if the person gets angry with you, you will cease to eat fish, but if he teaches you how to fish, he gives you the net, he gives you everything, you will eat fish all the days of your life. And that is what Her Excellency, the wife of the Governor has done for these beautiful people.”
“You can see the beautiful things they have made within a short time, and I know that in no distant future, we will be bringing our clothes for them to make for us. We want to beg you, don’t let this laudable idea die. Forget the trauma you have gone through. Somebody has given you reason to live and smile again. If I were you, I will grab the opportunity and continue to smile again.”
Coordinator of the IDPs, Pastor Solomon Folorunsho thanked the Governor’s wife for the training.
He said: “we want to again say thank you very much. I want to assure you that the equipment you have left behind, these ones that have been trained are going to continue to use them to continually train others. I want to thank you for providing these equipment for them, and we are going to make good use of them. We are going to make you proud. Like I told you before, you are their mother and they really want to make you proud.”
40 of the IDPs were trained in fisheries, 40 in baking and food processing; 40 in creative arts (tailoring, shoemaking and artwork) and 40 in ICT.
Meanwhile Mrs Oshiomhole directed that the equipment used in training the IDPs be left with them for training of others in the camp.
The equipment left are 20 gas cookers and 20 gas cylinders; 20 sewing machines; 15 laptops and one power generating set.

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