Miletones In Basic Education In Gombe, By Yakubu Bayambe


Gombe State Governor Muhammad Inuwa Yahaya

…the political will so far displayed by the administration of Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya in repositioning the education sector is one that will…improve the quality of teaching and learning in schools across the State…

Since coming into office about two years ago, Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe had made it categorically clear that the situation in the education sector in the State, particularly at the basic level, was unacceptable and that his administration would do everything necessary to fix the rot inherent in the sector, which was ravaged by inadequate infrastructure, a large number of out-of-school children, the absence of instructional materials and basic facilities, as well as a teaching workforce that is poorly trained and ill-motivated.

In appreciating the severity of these challenges, the Gombe State government, under the leadership of Governor Yahaya, declared a state of emergency in education as a deliberate and conscious policy of channelling the government’s energy and resources towards repositioning the sector for better, effective and efficient teaching and learning.

The declaration of a state of emergency in education in Gombe State saw a sudden departure from the prism of a narrow window dressing to a broad and holistic approach towards addressing the numerous challenges confronting the sector, especially at the basic level, which is perhaps the most critical stage in human development.

Today, and almost two years into the administration of Governor Yahaya, the situation in the education sector, particularly at the basic level, is gradually and steadily changing for the better and to the benefit of the younger generation. Aside from the massive construction, renovation and remodeling of schools and staff quarters, the Gombe State government has also established a state-of-the-art Teachers Resource Centre (TRC) in Kwami, the first of its kind in the North-East sub-region, for the training and retraining of teachers.

Perhaps to further demonstrate the genuine and undying passion of the governor towards repositioning basic education for effective service delivery, the Gombe State government, through the UBEC/SUBEB intervention project, commissioned a brand new conventional and e-library at the Jekadafari Primary School in the State capital. The Gombe government has also committed itself to building 110 standard libraries in schools across the State.

At the commissioning ceremony recently held, the governor said that his administration intends to spend the sum of three hundred and thirty three million naira (N333,000,000) in the construction of the said 110 standard school libraries. He also used the opportunity to flag off the distribution of motorcycles, instructional materials and sports facilities to public schools.

Speaking further at the occassion, Governor Yahaya said that his administration inherited huge challenges in the education sector, with Gombe ranking 34th out of 36 states of the federation in external examinations. This, he explained, prompted his administration to immediately declare a state of emergency in the sector in order to salvage it from total collapse.

He explained that, “the establishment of primary school library is yet another bold step in the right direction towards addressing the challenges inherent in basic education. The importance of a library as a foundation for pupils/students’ self-motivation cannot be over-emphasised as it will greatly enhance learning in schools across the State”.

“To this end and considering the importance of a library as the fastest growing means for inducing self-motivation in learning, the State Ministry of Education, through the State Universal Basic Education Board, SUBEB, will undertake the construction of 110 standard libraries across the State at the total cost of three hundred and thirty three million naira (N333,000,000) in the first phase”, the governor declared.

To underscore the seriousness with which he views the library project, the governor directed Education Secretaries and head teachers in the State to include a library period of at least 80 minutes per week on their school time tables to enable students and pupils read on their own, under the guidance of a trained librarian.

On the provision of other materials, Governor Yahaya said, “Government has also noted with delight the prompt procurement of 31 additional motorcycles in order to enhance monitoring of schools by quality assurance officers in all the eleven local government areas. Similarly, the provision of instructional materials and sports equipment worth over 85 million naira to schools is highly commendable”.

Elated by the gesture, the Commissioner of Education in the State, Dauda Batari Zambuk said Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya’s interventionist policy and commitment to the education sector is beyond imagination, describing his disposition as one that will yield positive fruits and be remembered for many years to come.

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The Executive Chairman, State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Hon. Babaji Babadidi, also followed suit, saying that as part of measures to improve the education sector in the State, the administration of Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya has carried out sweeping reforms in the State, especially at the basic level.

He said the commissioning of the e-Library is yet another bold step by the Inuwa Yahaya administration towards injecting new techniques that will guarantee the desired quality in education, following the declaration of a State of emergency in the sector.

As a matter of fact, the political will so far displayed by the administration of Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya in repositioning the education sector is one that will not only improve the quality of teaching and learning in schools across the State, but also go into the annals of history to buttress the fact that one Chief Executive has come, seen and conquered the myriad of challenges bedeviling the education sector in Gombe State.

Yakubu Bayambe wrote from Tumfure, Gombe State.

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