Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Jigawa pupils sit on bare floors to learn, While Turaki, Lamido are accused of stealing billions (Photo)

According to premium times, The sky was blue and bright and the heat was biting as we drove into Hadejia – it used to be called Biram – in Jigawa State, northeast Nigeria, said to be one of the seven founding states of the Hausa Kingdoms.
We had learnt that many of today’s elite in northern Nigeria had their formative education in Kofar Arewa Primary School located in the ancient town.

 But driving into the premises of the school that sunny afternoon, one was shocked at the level of rot that has reduced one of the first centre of Western education in northern Nigeria to what looked like a goat pen. What with the weather-beaten walls, leaking roofs, broken ceilings, windows without louvers, doorposts without doors and floor with gullies and dust and sand.
 
From one block to another, the picture was the same: that of misery and abandonment inside and outside. It was difficult to believe children still came here to learn.
But the school had just closed for the day and pupils had retreated home. Only the headmaster and a few teachers were around.
Kofar Arewa Primary School was established by the British colonialists just before Nigeria attained Independence in 1960, making it the oldest in Hadejia Emirate Council in Hadejia Local Government Area.
But at the time we visited, we learnt that no fewer than 720 pupils sit on bare floor to study.
With a little over 920 pupils, the school, which should have a minimum of 30 teachers and three security men has only 20 teachers and a security guard.
The Headmaster, Mohammed Daniya, said many prominent men and women from the state passed through Kofar Arewa.
These include the Jigawa State Head of Service, Mohammed Tahir; serving Senator, Ubali Magama; and Chairman of the State Universal Basic Education Board, Salisu Zakar.

Mr. Daniya, however, lamented that the school had been let down by the many prominent men and women it produced over the years.
“We do not have seats for our teachers and pupils and that is why you find that all our pupils sit on the floor to learn. We have written to the authorities to urgently intervene and save our school from going further down,” the headmaster said.

In Gwaram town, a teacher who gave his name simply as Musa (he declined to provide his surname for fear of being punished by authorities), said most primary and junior secondary schools in the area have no furniture, a fact PREMUM TIMES confirmed.
Popularly known as Saigodiya, Mr. Musa said the Government Day Secondary School, Gwaram, had been in a deplorable state for years.

With soaring enrollment resulting from the free and compulsory basic education programme introduced by the Sule Lamido administration, Musa said facilities in primary and junior secondary schools became overstretched and teachers overworked.
For instance, in the Government Day School, Gwaram, he said the junior secondary class one is divided into two streams with “A” stream having a total of 170 pupils and the “B” class 154.

“Our pupils were sitting on bare floor until the school authority and parents managed to buy mats which are spread on the dusty floor. Pupils here are lucky to sit on the mats to learn. The situation is worse in many places across the state,” he told PREMIUM TIMES.
When it was impossible to accommodate one of the classes at the junior secondary wing, Musa said the principal got permission from the headmaster of the primary wing located on the same premises to use one of their classrooms.

Source: Premium times

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