A research by Sir Ahmadu Bello Memorial Foundation has revealed that
Education is not getting the priority it deserves, in the North.
The team leader of the research group former Minister of Education, Prof. Ruqayyatu Ahmad Rufai made the assertion during virtual public presentation of the research work in kaduna on thursday.
According to her teachers recruitment adequacy and incentives, physical infrastructure to support education are lacking, inadequate offices and workstations for headteachers and teachers, security, classrooms, playgrounds, computers laboratory, libraries and information services, laboratories, textbooks, audiovisual facilities, internet connectivity and learning aids are all inadequate.
She added that poverty, inadequate infrastructures, inadequate teachers, out of school children, and early marriages are some of the factors responsible for poor standard of education in Northern Nigeria.
Prof. Ruqayyatu Ahmad Rufai however noted that the region is not lacking quality teachers as 70 percent of teachers in the North are qualified with national certificate of education and above, while 52 percent teachers are NCE holders.
She said the report covers all the 419 local governments in the 19 Northern states and FCT.
The former Minister stated that 30 percent of the local governments were selected ensuring that they cover all the senatorial zones in all the states, while drawing from conventional and Islamic primary, secondary schools including single and mixed schools both public and private.
“Our key findings are that financial condition of parents to cater for their children education, early marriage, incentive to promote access to education didn’t get to most parents, majority have not benefitted from school feeding, challenge of girl child education is critical to the region, almajirai integration of Qur’anic education into basic education are some of the challenges facing education.
“Education is not getting the priority it deserves, teachers recruitment adequacy and incentives, physical infrastructure to support education are lacking, inadequate offices and workstations for headteachers and teachers, security, classrooms, playgrounds, computers laboratory, libraries and information services, laboratories, textbooks, audiovisual facilities, internet connectivity and learning aids are all inadequate.” She added
Prof. Ruqayyatu noted that poor funding and non release of funds as well as lacking facilities for special education are also dragging back educational development in the region.
Chairman of Northern States Governors Forum and Governor of Plateau state, Mr Simon Lalong commended the research, and called for the report to be made available to other governors in the region, while assuring that they would support the implementation of any programme to improve education in the region.
Lalong, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Prof. Danladi Abdul said, “this is one of the legacies of Sir Ahmadu Bello and the Foundation is keeping it alive.
This legacy if well carried out will go a long way to emancipate the North. We are going to take the research down to the states for the governors to work on it.
“The challenges and recommendations are taken but we need lots of advocacy to get the political will among our colleagues. This research report should be given out to our governors, shortly we will convoke a meeting of the Northern States Governors Forum. So, the lead researcher should present executive summary to the governors to enable us work on it.”
Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna state, who was represented by the state Commissioner for Education, Dr Shehu Usman Mohammed, said the state has given priority to free education in it’s budget, adding that the state has recruited teachers and is working on improving the education infrastructures.