Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq at the weekend hosted the six public school students who won the presidential debate competition in Abuja, rewarding each of them with N1m cash gift and state scholarship for their undergraduate studies in any discipline.
The Governor called the students the pride of the government and people of Kwara State, commending them for their impressive outing and thanking their parents, teachers and leadership of the Kwara State Universal Basic Education Board (KWSUBEB) for their roles in the feat.
Kwara recently won the 63rd edition of the presidential debate in Abuja for the second time in a row, asserting its leadership in the competition, which involves participants from the states of the federation.
Kwara had also won the last edition of the speaking contest in 2021 in Lagos, with the winners similarly accorded a state reception by the Governor, cash rewards, and university scholarship.
The victory in Lagos saw Kwara representing Nigeria at the International Debate Competition in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. With their latest victory, they will now represent Nigeria at the World school debate championship in the Republic of Serbia in Europe.
The latest champions were led to Government House Ilorin by the Chairman state Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) Prof Sheu Raheem Adaramaja, who also came home with an award of being the best SUBEB Chairman in Northern Nigeria.
“I congratulate you for doing exceedingly well. The state is proud of you, as you carry the flags as ambassadors of the state. You will now become ambassadors of Nigeria when you go to Serbia (Europe) to represent the country,” the Governor said on Friday at the reception for the children, their parents, and SUBEB management team in Ilorin.
The Debate Team, which comprised exclusively students from public schools, include Mashood Kamaldeen (Government Secondary School, Ilorin East LG); Jatto Ramatallahi (Offa Grammar School, Offa); Jimoh Abayomi Emmanuel (Tanke Community Junior Secondary School, Ilorin South); Emmanuel Chioma (St. Anthony Junior Secondary School, Ilorin East); Dolapo Mariam (Offa Grammar School, Offa); and AbdulKareem Uswat ( Okelele Junior Secondary School Ilorin East).
Acknowledging that gaps still exist in the education sector, AbdulRazaq pledged to continue to invest in human capital development to totally restore the glory of Kwara as the best state in education in Northern Nigeria, if not the whole country.
“There is a lot to be done in our curriculum and in education. We know where we are coming from, but we are committed to beating our own record,” he said.
“Our aim is not just to top education in Northern Nigeria but in Nigeria as a whole. And we can achieve that. We just have to be deliberate in our quest for what we want to achieve. That is why you are a shining example of what we can achieve if we set our goal properly.”
The reception was attended by the Chairman House Committee on Education Hon. Baba Boriya; Chief of Staff to the Governor Prince AbdulKadir Mahe; Commissioner for Education Sa’adatu Modibbo kawu; Special Adviser on Education Dr. Adetola Salau Ariyike; former Senior Special Assistant for Special Duties Alhaji Abdulrazaq Jiddah; and teachers and parents of the celebrities.
Kawu, for her part, said the success story was a product of the government’s investments in the education sector, which, she noted, is already bearing fruits, commending the Governor for his visionary leadership.
In his remarks introducing the children to the Governor, Prof. Adaramaja thanked AbdulRazaq for taking the basic education in the state with all seriousness and for leading by example, calling him the main architect of the victory.
“Your Excellency, I am presenting them to you. They are your kids. And just this week, we received a letter from the Presidential School Debate, informing us that these students are going to represent Nigeria at the World school debate championship in the Republic of Serbia in Europe, and that His Excellency President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has paid the annual subscription fee for these students to represent the country,” Adaramaja said.
Dr. Jatto, a parent who spoke on behalf of others, appreciated the Governor for the awards and how his government is helping to restore confidence in the public school system in the state.
Dr. Jato said the government’s investments are clearly yielding results, adding that history will be kind to the Governor and his team for the efforts in the education sector.
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