Gathering momentum by Ganduje’s education revolution –
By Abdulyassar Abdulhamid
Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje’s second term is anchored on, but not limited to, two variables, one of which is free and compulsory basic and secondary education the administration has just implemented in the state.
In the cause of delivering his inaugural speech on Wednesday, May 29, 2019, Governor Ganduje made one value-loaded policy statement. Basic and post basic education were declared free and compulsory to all citizens of state while tertiary education would remain highly subsidized.
In the same vein, education was declared free at all levels for all physically challenged persons up to tertiary institutions, as detailed policy guidelines for the implementation of the free education policy would be made known in due course.
With this value-loaded statement, many variables came into play. The governor had embarked upon an anti-ignorance revolution to make the population of the state an asset rather than liability and economically active. This means the whole system needs to be revitalized.
A moment after receiving his certificate of return, Governor Ganduje disclosed that his administration would be unveiling a series of plans to ensure that every child in state receives quality education and he or she has access to equitable education, comprising comprehensive computer and information technology education.
This is to ensure that in 15 years’ time, state, the most populous in the country, becomes the state with the most educated populace in sub-Saharan Africa and most attractive destination for the world’s leading technology-driven businesses.
Gathering momentum by Ganduje’s education revolution
One peculiarity about Ganduje’s educational revolution in state is that free education has been extended up to the end of senior secondary school and it is now compulsory upon parents to enrol their school age children in school or face the music.
The educational revolution started with the governor organizing a two-day stakeholder summit on free and compulsory education. The government engaged leading educationists across the country, the Federal Government, world leaders, traditional and religious institutions to brainstorm and offer concrete input toward the successful implementation of the policy.
International leaders ranging from US, UK, France, UAE, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, United Nations, UNICEF and the World Bank, among others, were not left behind; they all converged at the Coronation Hall, Government House, Kano. Scholarly papers were presented, ideas brainstormed and minds rubbed on how best to execute the all-important policy.
This was followed by the governor directing the five first class Emirs of the state to take inventories of out-of-school children and report deviant parents to the appropriate authorities for necessary actions.
At the flag-off of the funding component of the free and compulsory education policy at Sani Abacha Indoor Stadium, on Thursday, September 12, 2019, Governor Ganduje unveiled the four segments the state’s education reform entails, namely; education for all, which provides educational opportunity for all children in the state; girl-child education, which focuses on providing girls with the right to acquire basic education; out-of-school children; and the integration of Tsangaya education into the mainstream education system.
With school fees abolished, the state government approved direct funding of the whopping sum of N2.4 billion to 1,180 schools as part of its free and compulsory education policy from basic to the senior secondary school level, at the average sum of N200 million monthly.
Cheques were presented to 110 school principals and teachers at the flag-off of the ceremony, as the remaining schools received their funding electronically thereafter.
In its efforts to remodel the Almajiri system of education, the administration decided to integrate it into the mainstream education system. But this would not be possible without an established governing council.
The Qur’anic and Islamiyya Schools Management Board was reinforced and a technical committee constituted. The task was that of remodelling the whole system.
A pilot scheme was initiated with 52 selected mega schools to receive direct funding from government, which include monthly allowance for teachers, feeding allowance, uniforms, and rehabilitation of the selected schools. Furthermore, the administration recruited 660 teachers to teach English, Mathematics and Hygiene at the selected schools.
Gathering momentum by Ganduje’s education revolution
In addition to this, the government approved the sum of N381 million for the school feeding of primary 4, 5 and 6 pupils to complement the Federal Government school feeding programme.
On Thursday, October 24, 2019, Governor Ganduje flagged off the distribution of free school uniforms exercise aimed at providing adequate clothing for especially pupils at Mariri Special Primary School in Kumbotso Local Government Area of state.
Over 800,000 newly enrolled primary and secondary school students benefitted from the exercise across the 44 local government areas of the state.
The state government spent over N300 million to provide the newly enrolled primary and secondary students with free school uniforms. This is aimed at providing adequate clothing to the children, as well as relieving the burden off parents and guardians.
One interesting thing about education is that it is the bedrock of development of any society. It is the vision of the government to ensure that every child irrespective of status gets free access to education, so that they will be empowered to fulfil their potential.
As an educationist and knowing fully well how vital physical learning environment is to teachers and students, the Ganduje administration has earmarked N3 billion for the renovation of schools, construction of additional classrooms (to de-congest schools), toilets, and sinking of boreholes and N140 million for the provision of instructional materials to all public schools in the state.
Believing that the quality of education is assessed through the quality of teachers, the administration has moved to recruit 3,000 volunteer teachers to be deployed to government-owned schools especially in the rural area.
Speaking at a two-day stakeholder summit on free and compulsory education organized by state government to chart a viable course for the successful implementation of the policy, the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo said that Ganduje was eminently triggering educational revolution not only in the North, but in the country in general.
According to him, the administration of Governor Ganduje has made heavy investment in human capital and educational development with all seriousness, stressing that the Federal Government would make serious commitment to support the state.
On October 10, the Emir of Kano, Malam Muhammadu Sanusi ll, who paid the governor a courtesy visit in the company of the delegation of Zenith Bank, described educational revolution as the “apex of service to humanity,” urging other state governors across the federation to emulate Governor Ganuje’s educational policy.
What is more? With full community participation, especially the Teacher- Parent Association (PTA), in no time the policy will raise the productivity and creativity of the people and promote entrepreneurship and technological advancement in the state.
Abdulhamid is our reporter at Government House, Kano and can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org, Twitter: yassara2013 or 08145901322.