The Kaduna State Government said it had spent over N565 million on the payment of scholarship and NECO examination fees in the last two years.

The state’s Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Prof Andrew Nok, made the disclosure Thursday in Kaduna at a news conference to mark the second anniversary of Gov. Nasir El-Rufai administration.

Nok explained that more than N285 million was spent on payment of NECO examination fees for secondary school students and N280 million for foreign scholarship.

He added that the state had sponsored 30 young ladies to study medicine in Uganda in 2015, adding that 30 more would be sent to Cuba to also study medicine.

“We have just returned from Cuba some weeks ago where we concluded arrangements with the Cuban Government.

“The step is to bridge the manpower gap in the health sector, and also to address the religious and cultural challenges associated with male doctors handling women in this part of the country.”

According to him, the administration has achieved giant strides in infrastructural development in the education sector in the last two years.

“When we came in, most of the schools did not have ceilings, no roof, the floors were bad, students were sitting on bare floor and the laboratories were dilapidated.

“To be able to deliver quality education, the government decided that the infrastructure must be addressed, ” he said.

The commissioner said that consequently the government had rehabilitated and equipped about 119 secondary schools and over 450 primary schools across the state.

Nok said that the government had also evolved policies which helped to raise primary school enrollment from about 800, 000 in 2015 to 2.1 million in 2017.

“It was against this population explosion in our public primary schools that the state executive council decided to award contracts for the construction of storey buildings to replace existing structures in primary schools.

“We have equally concluded plans to convert all our secondary schools to boarding schools.

“We have already started the project with 15 schools and earmarked three billion naira for the project.

“Phase one of the modernisation project in the schools have been concluded.”

On school feeding, which was jettisoned few months after it was started, the commissioner said the government spent more than N10 billion within the period the programme lasted.

He however said the school feeding programme would resume as logistics issues are currently being taken care of.

“We have halted the programme because we were waiting for reimbursement from Federal Government.

“The Federal Government has settled 50 per cent of the amount, N3.4 billion, remaining another N3.4 billion,” Nok said.

(NAN)