Some stakeholders in the education sector in the North-East have identified poor school infrastructure as the major bane militating against delivery of quality education at basic level in the region.
They also enumerated lack of good remuneration of teachers as factor behind poor academic performances.
They stakeholders including educationalists, parents and civil society activists spoke while responding to a survey by the News Agency of Nigeria in Bauchi, Damaturu, Maiduguri and Gombe.
Mr Mohammed Yunusa, an educationists in Damaturu dismmsed the state of public primary schools in the state as ‘pathetic’.
He said most of the schools, especially those in the rural areas lack good infrastructure, teaching and instructional materials.
He said the classrooms has been crowded, a situation which forced pupils to take lesson under tree shades.
“In one of the school with over 2,000 registered pupils, its condition is terrible.
“The school needs urgent intervention to upgrade existing structures and construct new ones to accommodate the population,” he said.
Mega School YobeMalam Abdullahi Ali, a resident of Yadin-Buni in Gujba Local Government Area of Yobe, said many primary schools vandalised by Boko Haram insurgents had been rehabilitated.
He, however, said the schools had not been put to use, a trend which overstretched the few functional schools in the area.
He also decried shortage of teachers in the schools due to their locations and vulnerability to security threats, adding that, “teachers decline posting to such vulnerable schools for fear of the insurgents”.
Malam Abdul-Rahman Aminu, who corroborated earlier opinion, said the problem was further compounded by lack of qualified teachers to teach in the schools.
He said teachers in such schools could not put in their best in view of the poor remuneration and working conditions.
A teacher, who pleaded anonymity decried the poor renumeration, noting that it resulted poor performances in the schools.
She said the salary of N27,000 for teachers was below the N30,000 national minimum wage, adding the take-home pay is demoralising to the teachers.
“The salary is meager and unattractive that cannot sustain the life of a teacher,” she said.
Newly constructed classroom, MaiduguriFurthermore; Mr Abdullahi Yelwa, a lecturer with the Department of Crime Management and Control (CMC), Abubakar Tatari Ali Polytechnic, Bauchi, said the remuneration of teachers at the basic level was not attractive.
According to him, poor remuneration of teachers and deplorable condition of primary schools is affecting the foundation of education in the country.
He attributed the deplorable condition of the schools to poor funding of Local Education Authorities (LEAs) by respective state governments.
“Before, primary education has been fully supported by local governments through LEAs, because the people know who to hold accountable for successes or failure of education at the grassroots.
“Presently; the local government councils are not receiving their statutory allocation in the name of Joint Account, thereby making it impossible for them to fund education at basic level.
“The establisment of the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) and State Universal Education Board (SUBEB) caused more damage than the expected positive outcome in the education sector,” he said.
The lecturer advocated for the review of UBEC programme as part of measures to reinvigorate the basic education sector.
To address the problem, the state governments in the region had initiated viable infrastructure and teacher development programmes towards raising standard in the sector.
Mega school, Gombe In Borno; the state government had executed 194 school infrastructure projects in the past three years.
According to official document, the projects include rehabilitation, completion and construction of new 21 mega primary, secondary and technical colleges across the 27 local government areas of the state.
It showed that 33 of the projects had been executed in Askira Uba; eight in Bama, six in Bayo, six in Biu, nine in Chibok, two in Damboa, two in Guzamala and eight in Gwoza.
Others were 12 school projects in Hawul; 25 in Jere, five in Kaga, 19 in Konduga, four in Kwaya Kusar, six in Mafa, one in Mobbar, 48 in Maiduguri, four in Monguno, four in Ngala and two in Gubio.
The government also distributed 221,000 assorted text books to the schools.
Also, Mohammed Jibrin, Chairman of the Nigeri Union of Teachers (NUT) in the state, commended Gov. Babagana Zulum for approving new minimum wage for teachers.
He said the gesture would motivate the teachers, adding that good remuneration was necessary in getting qualified teachers.
“The teachers are impressed as it would improve teaching and learning process in the state.
“In Borno, the government has done well in area of infrastructure, what we need now is more qualified teachers to manage our schools,” Jibrin said.
Mega school, GombeIn Gombe, the state government says it has renovated 715 basic and post schools, constructed 612 classrooms and 10 administrative blocks in 10 schools.
Mr Babaji Babadidi, Executive Chairman, Gombe State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), reiterated government commitment towards improvement of teachers’ welfare He said the board was working towards the implementation of the teacher promotion, adding that the state recorded 539,831 pupils enrollment in 12,637 schools across the state.
According to him, the government has recruited qualified teachers to address shortage of manpower in the schools.
This, he would encouraged school enrollment and reduce the number of out-of-school children in the state.
, In the same vein; Yobe government has constructed seven mega primary and secondary schools across the major towns in the state to decongest classrooms, create enabling teaching and learning environment.
The state government also constituted a technical committee on basic and secondary education to rejuvenate the sector.
For his part; Bello urged government at all levels to increase funding to the education sector to encourage infrastructure and teacher development programmes.
“The state governments should invest heavily and demonstrate interest in education because you cannot say education is compulsory at the basic level and it is not available”.
The Federal Government in collaboration with the Islamic Development Bank and Gombe State government, said they would establish three boarding Bilingual Almajiri schools in Gombe state.
Mr Babaji Babadidi, Executive Chairman, Gombe State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Gombe, on Thursday.
He said the schools would be cited in Dogonruwa, Gombe south, Garin Hardo, Gombe central and Tudun wada central senatorial districts.
The chairman said the language of instruction in the schools would be Arabic, English and other languages commonly spoken in the area, such as Hausa or Fulfulde.
He said the establishment of the schools would help boost enrollment, reduce out of school children and expose learners to information and communication.
Babadidi said the state government had also approved the construction of model boarding Almajiri School in Yulunguruzu quarters of the state metropolis.
He said the construction which had reached advanced stage, would be equipped with the necessary facilities found in all conventional schools across the state.
The chairman said that formal education would be introduced in to integrate the Almajiri school system with conventional schools.
“It is the responsibility of government to provide education to all manner of people; we do not want them to be going around without a formal education.
“We want the Almajirai to acquire both Islamic and western education in order to be better citizens tomorrow,” he said.
The Gombe State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) says it has placed embargo on the transfer of nomadic teachers in the state.
The Chairman of the board, Mr Babaji Babadidi, said this on Thursday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Gombe.
‘’Teachers posted to nomadic schools should henceforth be retained.
“We placed embargo on non-transfer of nomadic teachers since they have acquired the necessary training,’’ Babadidi said.
He frowned at the indiscriminate transfer of the few teachers to conventional schools.
According to Babadidi, Gov. Inuwa Yahaya is passionate about Nomadic Education.
He said that the State Government had so far expended over N900 million to drastically reduce out-of-school children in the state.
He argued that no government had spent such amount on such an educational initiative since the state was created in 1996.
Babadidi said the money was used to construct classroom blocks, establishment of new nomadic schools, provision of furniture and collapsible tents, amongst other facilities.
He commended the National Commission for Nomadic Education (NCNE) for adopting a new approach to reach the nomads through learning by radio.
The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that the Executive Secretary of the commission, Bashir Usman, had recently cried out over “the dearth of specialised” nomadic teachers in the country. (
The National Commission for Nomadic Education (NCNE) says it will soon begin learning-by-radio for the nomadic people in the country.
Dr. Fidelis Idoko, Director, Social Mobilisation and Women Development of the commission, disclosed this in Gombe on Tuesday when he paid a courtesy call on the Chairman, Gombe State Universal Basic Education (SUBEB).
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that NCNE officials were in the state to administer questionnaire to the nomads, so that by their response they would know the time that is appropriate for educational programme for them.
He said the commission acquired an Amplitude Modulation (AM) licence from the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) in 2017 in order to set up a radio station.
“We now have Zamani International Radio and will come on air in no distant time.
“We have been using Radio Nigeria since 1976 and has consistently produced programmes for the nomads.
“We have realised that radio has impacted so much in the lives of the nomads, through the radio, they were educated on the importance of census and their other civic rights, exclusive breast feeding, child immunisation, among other major issues.
“Now we want to scale up to learning by radio and we are optimistic that it would positively impact on the target group.
“We have produced 30 radio lessons for Primary One which we called Radio School, we have packaged and developed an interactive radio programme ,” he said.
According to him, the radio programme will not in any way replace the pupil-and-teacher interface but complement it.
“We want the nomads wherever they are to be learning, because reaching them physically will not be possible because we lack the funds to go to every nook and cranny.
“Also, we have challenges when it comes to the issue of manpower that will cover all the schools.
“State and local councils are the employers of teachers, they are saddled with the responsibility of recruiting and posting teachers, “ he explained.
He lamented that one of the challenges they were facing was the transfer of teachers that were trained by the commission to regular schools.
“We want to appeal to the board to retain trained teachers in the schools instead of posting them out to regular schools,” he said.
In his response, Mr Babaji Babadidi, Chairman, SUBEB Gombe, thanked the commission for the visit and for going round the 291 nomadic schools in the state.
“We hope your monitoring will open another door for the state to immensely benefit from your allocations as the state needed more support from the commission in providing additional class rooms and instructional materials,” he said.
According to him, the state government from 2019 to date has spent N900 million for the construction of collapsible tents, furniture, instructional materials, among other things.
He said since the creation of the state in 1996 no government had invested such amount of money in that area.
The chairman said the board would soon place an embargo on the transfer of teachers in nomadic schools.