It was stated that Primary education is a foundational level of education that needs to be well funded, controlled and managed. And it is agreed that adequate provisions of education to the citizens contribute greatly to the socio-economic development of the country. Therefore good administration of the primary level of education in terms of structures and quality not the number of teachers is required to foster national growth and development.
However, with the recent declaration of free and compulsory basic education by Kano state government, one will definitely agree that the needed succor has finally arrived. Similarly, the best thing to do for every well-meaning Kano citizen is to look at what is obtainable and what is realistic. Presently, the story of our primary and secondary schools remain a fairytale full of scary and unknown scenario.
Indeed the declaration is a welcome development, but the question to ask here is that, does the state government really take into consideration the problems of acute shortage of infrastructures and other basic amenities, as most of the schools’ structures are in a state of shamble and disorder.
Amina Abdu is a 12-year-old pupil of Yan Dodo primary school of Nassarawa local Government; the poor kid revealed that her class roofing was blown off some years ago and up till this moment nothing was done about it.
The scenario is virtually the same in almost every primary and secondary school within and outside the state metropolitan. For instance, school’s structures at Giginyu primary school, Durawa primary school, Mai Dile primary school, and many others are presently in dare need of intervention.
It was also discovered that the teachers are also facing their own side of the dilemma of not having enough staffrooms, toilets, and furniture to the extent that teachers are seen under trees.
The teachers revealed that they no longer feel committed to their jobs because the situation was not conducive.
A primary school teacher who spoke on condition of anonymity says that the profession itself is now seen as a job for the less privileged. “Teaching as a profession has been degraded to the bottom of the occupational hierarchy as it is now being regarded as a circumstantial profession.
However, during the 2-day stakeholders summit on ‘Exploring the Fundamentals of Free and Compulsory Basic and Secondary Education in Kano State’ organized by Kano state government.
In a paper titled ‘Tsanagaya Almajiri System of Education Challenges and Prospects’, a season Kano based advocate of Tsangaya Almajiri system of Education and a University lecturer from the department of Computer since Bayero University Kano, Dr Bashir Shehu Galadanci revealed that, for an effective implementation of Almajiri Tsangaya system of education, there is a need for government to recognize the product of the system for them to explore work opportunities as others do. According to him, one of the earlier highlighted problems is that fact that the product of the Islamic educational system are not recognized at all by government adding that the product of the system cannot use their certificates to get employment either within or outside the government.
He added that, there is a need for a reversal of the trend, to warrant recognition of the product for them to have same privileges as products of the secular education system to boost their self-esteem and image.
Similarly, another university lecturer in a different paper presented during the stakeholders’ summit Dr. Muhammad Sagagi revealed that for an effective educational system to operate adequately there is a need for a special fund to be set aside in financing educational system in states in particular and in the nation in general.
Similarly, while discussing the paper, a very vital issue was raised by a seasoned educationist Hajiya Asha Ado who observed that there is a strong need for the creation of an amiable avenue to restore the public confidence in the public educational system.
Experts raised issues pertaining to the parameters taken by the state government on the declaration as it could be recalled that, Kano state governor Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje during the summit revealed that, the free and compulsory education is targeting about 2.5 million out of school children in the state adding that, in order to ensure success and sustainability of the policy, government is articulating a draft bill and other necessary legislative instruments to put into law the program of free and compulsory basic and secondary education in the state.
The governor also revealed that to complement the move of the state government, recruitment of 3, 000 teachers is currently ongoing adding that other necessary requirements to actualize the declaration are also ongoing.
According to an educationist Malam Umar Buba the question raised by a specialist is that, does the government have up-to-date statistics of its schools in need of serious attention? Does the state government has an authentic estimate of the number of teachers needed for the effective running of the educational system in the state? How effective can the declaration be without any legislation?
Malam Buba added that, if care is not taken the whole issue will be just another political empty declaration for cheap popularity adding that only time will surely determine that.