By SHAMSU SADIQ ABUBAKAR, Kano
THE emergency of Governor Umar Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State has created a new vista for capacity building in the state Ministry of Education towards enhancing human capital development in the state. Despite the fact that the state is facing serious financial setback, the governor is spearheading the fast growth of the education sector by institutionalizing affirmative action in all the departments to articulate doubts on the possibility of making the necessary change.
This desire of Government to improve education has brought to light the effort of the Department of Islamic Education, which has enjoyed the combined support of Governor Ganduje and his Deputy who doubles as the Commissioner for Education, Prof. Hafiz Abubakar. The department has successfully conducted series of examinations in an effort to raise the standard of Islamic education, ranging from transitional, BECE and qualify examinations in Tahfeez and Tajweed, the giant stride is to enhance the students chances of gaining admission into various high institutions in the state and also get more participation of students in this aspect of educational programme.
The state government has also made it mandatory to offer free education to all students from the state as well as taken care of all the financial responsibilities for all the examinations in this regard. This effort of the government has greatly increased the number of students engagement for external exams (SAISCE) to 12,516 thousand while coordinated and supervised SIASCE Tahfeez and Tajweed final exams for 2014/2015 session respectively.
The glaring opportunity has redoubled the number of students in 2015 to 83,563 who sat for the examination and are expected to be admitted into various Arabic and Islamic Secondary Schools. The marking of BECE, compilation and release of the results as well as issuance of certificates are in progress while about 19,812 students are expected to be admitted into various Arabic and Islamic Tahfeez and Tajweed Senior Secondary Schools. Another set of students numbered about 14,672 also sat SAISQE qualifying exams which the award committee is expected to release the results soon.
The department of higher education which is given the mandate for admission drive, among other responsibilities, has succeeded in seeking admissions for about 14,721 students into various institutions across the country out of which it has accomplished admissions for 6982 students.
With the reduction of the number of Ministries in Kano, The Ministry of Education is saddled with additional responsibilities of absorbing some of the abrogated institutions, which include the Ministries of Science and Technology, and Higher Education. Tthe Governor did that to reduce cost of running his government and sagaciously appointed his Deputy Governor who is ardent educationist to man the education sector. The Science and Technology which eventually became a department, being the warden of Science and Technology in the state is allowed to continue with its functions and mandates and is tasked to raise the level of education and its development in the state to a greater height through the application of both existing and emerging technologies.
In the same vein, the Ministry has also made a giant stride in dismantling, transported and assembled heavy duty machines from Government Technical School Wudil to its new site at Tiga, constructed fence wall fence for the Kuyan ta Inna Primary School, converted Sani Abacha Youths Center to Technical College, high wall fence enclosing Post and Telecommunication at Kwankwaso town also, repairs and renovation of burnt staff quarters in the same town respectively. Others include the improvement of another wall fence at the same destination while furnishing thirty three libraries across the state as well as the establishment of Technical College at Sumaila and lots of such completed within the year reviewed.
In spite of the high crunched economy, Ganduje defied the trend and moved on vigorously to all sectors of education in his bid to attain the desirable results. The science and technology department supervised and conducted screening exercise for boys and girls seeking admission into St. Thomas, Rochas and Ahmadiyya schools in July 2015, arranged all meetings with schools and zonal representatives for the state quiz programmes, participated and hosted NNPC north-west quiz competition, took part in 2015 stan and mobile quiz conference held at Federal Science and Technical College in Awka Anambra State between 17th -22nd August 2015, spent over N1 million to sponsor participation in the Milo Basketball held in Lagos as well as attending national annual meeting held at Lagos for sports at only N48,000.00 and cowbell pedia Nestle Mathematics competition in March 2016 with about 1,918 students on board.
Under the year review the ICT department has tested and repaired about 5,850 computers donated by INEC and were distributed them to various institutions across the state while the educational resource department left no stone unturned with speedy milestones in ensuring that quality assurance policy and implementation guidelines with the collaboration of ESSPIN, evaluated over 30 schools externally while 25 inspected for recognition as centers for external examinations for WAEC and NECO, successfully conducted Basic Examination Certificate in for over 1300 public and private schools with over 100,000 candidates who sat for the examination.
In another development the KERD conducted the 2015 Senior Secondary Qualifying Examination at 508 public schools for 90,000 candidates, released the results of 2015 transitional examination for 174, 191 Primary six pupils last year, the curriculum section reviewed over 30 books with recommendation of government as well as nine year basic curriculum to reflect the needs and aspirations of state. In the same vein the guidance and counseling department had also successfully organized a day workshop for over 500 participants purely on guidance and counseling, produced over 220,000 Joint Instruction for admission of primary six pupils into Junior Secondary and many more. However it is part of the state government plan to construct additional schools with befitting office accommodation while the renovation goes on. In fact, the gesture will emphatically contribute to the general academic exercise in the state with newly recruited staff with resources improved.
About the idea of the state governor’s educational transformation His Excellency Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje is trying to provide an atmosphere where a student from the state can stand for any challenge when the need arise in terms of intimidation, education as well as military capacity. It will also help the youth to move from grass to grace, from nobody to somebody.
The government knowing very well that one can use education to fight emotions, conquer indecent leaving resolved that, the only way one can liberate himself from poverty and the many challenges of this world is through education, hence the state government decision to continue on mass sponsorship of the youths to study on various fields of discipline to curtail the lack of professionals in the state.
Ganduje’s unyielding quest to encourage students in Kano led to his government spending over N90Million for the registrations of over five thousand students who sat for the national common entrance which will pave way for their admissions into various Federal government colleges across the nation after several years of non participation. These great achievement has testified to the fact that the amiable and determine Governor thought as much when he gave out the responsibility of the state education sector to a professional who is also his trusted man the state Deputy Governor Prof. Hafiz Abubakar he has indeed put a square peg in a square hole as the decision is gradually yielding amazing and fantastic results.