Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of Kano state discloses that the state government would renew educational agreement between the state and French government, under Kano France Governments Scholarship Agreement, for 5 more years from 2020, when the existing Agreement comes to an end. The current Agreement was signed in 2016.
His extension for a period of 5 years, according to him, was to enable those who would run Doctorate Degrees to have enough period to complete their studies, in case of having extension of their academic engagement due to peculiarity of their chosen fields of study.
Commending the existing academic partnership between Kano state government and French government, he reveals that, "What we are doing now is TARGETED EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMMES. Where we plan for our educational programmes. In this programme for example, we target lecturers of our tertiary institutions, who will come back and impart what they were taught and trained on, to their students."
He made the disclosure when he paid an official visit to Kano students, sponsored under the programme, at Campus France, in Paris, France, Wednesday, explaining that his administration takes all stages of the education sector for the attainment of higher level.
Campus France is a body that shoulders responsibility of managing Kano France governments scholarship programme among others across the globe. The body currently has 4,000 students under its watch. They work, by way of collaborative effort, with all the institutions of higher learning in France.
Ganduje said "We all believe that, education sector needs to have complete overhaul. That is why we said for the basic education, let's have free and compulsory primary and secondary education. A policy we have since started implementing. Because of the quality of students that are going to be produced from our primary to secondary schools, we now said, we have to prepare for quality tertiary institutions."
Hence, according to him, the need to further equip lecturers of institutions of higher learning to further their studies under French programme. Adding that, "It is not an issue of taking people to places without any direction. In our effort to prepare our tertiary institutions for quality response we come up with this Targeted Educational Programme."
Also satisfied by the exceptional performance of Kano postgraduate students numbering 26, out of which, 19 running Masters programmes and 7 PhD students, under Kano France Joint Scholarship Programme, Campus France, coordinating the programme, assured Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of Kano state, that more French universities are willing to accept more students from Kano.
This was disclosed by the Director General Campus France, Beatrice Khaiat, during Governor's visit Wednesday, adding that Kano was leading many countries in sending students for Postgraduate studies.
"What Kano state government is doing by sending your students, that are being selected, based on merit from institutions of higher learning, is extremely good for Kano, Nigeria and the world in general," she appreciated.
After commending that Kano students are taking leads in all their choice areas, she said what Kano has been doing would be fruited towards the development of the state and would be reflected as part of the legacies of governor Ganduje.
French Education Attachee in French Embassy in Nigeria, Mrs Laila Matthew, invites governor Ganduje to facilitate for the participation of Kano state during the upcoming Nigeria Day in France, when Nigerian institutions of higher learning would be in France to meet with many French institutions for the Postgraduate studies opportunities.
"Kano is doing well in this agreement that was first signed in 2016. It is indicative to note that this Agreement with Kano state government opened door for Nigeria, as some other schools started showing interest in this great programme. So Kano is a pace setter. It may interest the Governor to also know that, most of the Awardees who are sponsored through Petroleum Trust and Development Fund (PTDF), come from Kano also, from the other hand," she discloses.
She further revealed that, when they started that Agreement with Kano state, they predicted that, many Nigerian states would follow suit, emphasising that, "And we are so sure that when we started with Nigeria the ball will keep on rolling. And then other African nations would take a leaf from there."
The Education Attachee congratulated governor Ganduje purposefully for the exceptional performance of Kano students sponsored under the programme, saying that, "Some of your PhD students are doing exceptionally well. We have a Kano student who was even selected for a renowned international conference. Where he did well as well."
Laila disclosed to the governor that they were planning to be in Nigeria with over 20 French institutions, as a Study Tour. "We are as well inviting Kano to come and participate. I am also intimating the governor that some scholars are coming to us to discuss with us issues to do with energy and Management Information System. That again, we want Kano to participate as the process takes off," she said.
As a show of appreciation and encouragement to the Kano state government, the French Committee of Vice Chancellors was represented at the visit, they acknowledged how Kano state students under the Kano French Government Scholarship Agreement excel in French universities.
They indicated that they need more students from Kano state. That, they welcome similar young and promising people from Kano. After strings of commendation to the administration of governor Ganduje. For Governor's special interest in taking education sector to greater heights.
Meanwhile after meeting with those officials, Ganduje had special meeting with the Kano students, whom he was purposefully there for.
In his remarks during the meeting governor Ganduje commended them for being good ambassadors from Kano state, Nigeria.
"While commending you for your exhibition of good character, I am also on behalf of the government and good people of Kano state commend you profusely on your giant strides and performance in your fields of study," governor encourages.
He reiterates the commitment of his administration in providing quality education at all levels. " We started with the accreditation of our higher institutions of learning, whatever that costs. We then say, education is now free in both primary and secondary schools. But that is not enough for us, we signed an MoU which French government since 2016. And we said this time around it must be a Targeted Educational Programme."
As the state government is renewing the Agreement he said "We found it extremely necessary to inform you first before doing that. Being stakeholders in this effort. As education is dynamic, we found it necessary to help you go deeper in global learning. We are also thinking of increasing the number of students lecturers coming here for Postgraduate studies.
Standing ovations were accorded to the governor when he mentioned that, with them there, there is greater hope for the state. "And we are here to motivate you, we are here to give you strength and we are here to assist you people. You are indeed proud to Kano. You should all know that knowledge is limitless."
Another standing ovation was accorded to the governor when he mentioned before all the students that, he didn't care about political party affiliation when it comes to selection process of beneficiaries. Directing the committee members responsible for the selection process that, "I directed you not to consider any political affiliation when it comes to selection process. Just stick to merit, not any other considerations. All we are after is the development of our dear state."
Bashir Ado, who is the Chairman of Kano State Joint Scholarship Awardees commended the governor for the un-tiring efforts, saying that "Your Excellency we all believe you are the architect of modern Kano. I must not sit without congratulating you over your re-election and your victory at the Election Petition Tribunal. Sir with your victory Kano is safe. As your administration means well for the state."
Ado reveals that they do not face any form of difficulty in their stay as students there. Appreciating that "We do not experience any hitch in any payment. We are comfortably facing our studies. For your information Sir, Kano has the highest number of students studying in France among all other states in Nigeria. We are grateful for that."
Students body crowned governor Ganduje with an Award of Excellence and Performance, as an appreciation of his effort in the education sector, emphasising that, when Nigeria is blessed with leaders like him (Ganduje), the country would, within shortest possible time, compete with other big nations on earth.
"We do appreciate His Excellency's committed commitment, dedication, patriotism and above all political will. We will not complete our remarks without thanking the Vice Chancellor of Kano University of Science and Technology, Wudil, Prof. Shehu Alhaji Musa for his unrelenting support and encouragement. So also the Coordinator of the programme Dr Usaini Jarma, who has also being up and down to make sure that the programme succeed. And all other officials who give their support in one way or the other."
They also decorated the Vice Chancellor Prof Musa and Dr Jarma with Awards of Excellence, with the permission of the governor, as protocol arrangement of such gatherings and meetings demands.