In an effort to arrest the problem of unqualified teaching staff in the basic education sub-sector, the Kano state government sponsored the training and re-training of 25,486 teachers across the four teacher training institutions in the state.
Governor Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje reveals "A couple of years back, a survey of the basic education sub-sector in the state revealed that over 25,000 teachers representing 54% of the teaching staff had no teaching qualifications. The affected staff consisted of a majority of SSCE Certificate holders and National Diploma (ND), Higher National Diploma (HND) or graduates without teaching qualifications."
He made the revelation at the 3rd Day of the Kano State 2nd Basic Education Week, 2018, at a combined Graduation Ceremony of 25,486 graduands of Nigeria Certificate of Education (NCE) and Professional Diploma in Education (PDE), as in-service trained teachers, that was held at Sani Abacha Stadium, Kofar Mata, Kano, Tuesday.
During the period of that survey according to the governor, the government was left with the only choice of laying-off all such staff, just to conform with the National Policy on Education, which places, as the benchmark, NCE as the minimum teaching qualification or some sort of training to upgrade staff professional status.
To avoid that, Ganduje said "...government realised the social and of course, political repercussions inherent in depriving the over 25,000 people of their means of livelihood and therefore, decided to enroll them into 4 Teacher Training Institutions to undergo various upgrade courses including Pre-NCE,
Remedial courses for SSCE Certificate holders, who would proceed to NCE programmes, NCE programmes National Diploma holders and Post Graduate Certificate courses for HND and Graduate teachers that had no teaching qualifications. The programme costs the government a whopping sum of N1.2B."
While 2,000 out of the 25,483 were graduated during the 1st Basic Education Week, February last year, "...today the remaining 23,483 have graduated and we are sampling 5,000 for induction by the Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria. The remaining trainees will convocate in their various colleges," he explained.
After reiterating government's commitment to the delivery of quality education at all levels, through the provision of the desired infrastructural and instructional facilities, motivation and capacity building, governor Ganduje reminded that, "Government alone cannot afford to satisfy the ever-growing demands of the education sector, hence the need for collaborative efforts from all other stakeholders and individuals."
He therefore commended the efforts of development partners, with a particular mention of Teacher Development Programme (TDP), Global Partnership in Education (GPE), United Nations Children's Education Fund (UNICEF), National Commission of Colleges of Education (NCCE) and a host of others. For their highly valued interventions in our teacher development programmes."
Engineer Aminu Aliyu, the Commissioner for Works, who oversees Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation, assured all the graduands and the stakeholders at the occasion that, Kano is always ready to achieve the much desired goals as far as education is concerned.
He encouraged "Your Excellency our strategy in improving quality education is one of the best in the country. This is simply possible, because we believe education is the main thrust of our development collectively."
Adding that, "The state will continue to proffer workable solutions to any challenges in the education sector. We will do our best and we wish to acknowledge and appreciate any stakeholder who is desirous of moving the state forward."
Earlier, during the 2nd Day of the event, at the Interactive Session with the Governor with the teachers head teachers and basic education stakeholders, which took place at Coronation Hall, Government House, Kano, Monday, many stakeholders participated with joy and encouragement on their faces.
At the event governor Ganduje appreciates that, "It is gratifying to state that, this is a gathering of distinguished ladies and gentlemen who serve as prime movers in the delivery of qualitative education at the foundation level."
Emphasising that, "Teachers, Headmasters, Education Secretaries, Zonal Directos of basic education, PTAs and SBMCs form the epicentre of our efforts to address the vital issues of access, quality of learning outcomes and inclusiveness in the provision of basic education to millions of our youth, to prepare them for a life long learning and of course, a brighter future."
To make clearer, the reason behind the interactive session, Ganduje said, the session was intended to underscore the critical importance of Basic Education, not only as the bedrock of all levels of education, "...but also affirm the proven truth that 'Education is a Basic Community Responsibility' which is the theme of this 2nd Basic Education Week, 2018."
Ganduje commended the interface during the session and described it as a constructive interface, where challenges were identified, he urged that, "...I call upon you to evolve a strategy that can be adopted to jointly confront the challenges and tackle them altogether."
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education, Danlami Garba, who represented the Commissioner from the Ministry assured all stakeholders at the occasion that, the state under Ganduje would always welcome any effort aimed at developing the sector.
Explaining that, the state, would, as much as it could, continue to do her best in contributing to the UBE/matching grants to improve accessibility.
At the 2nd Day of the event, the National Publicity Secretary of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) Barrister Emma after commending governor Ganduje for the impressive work done in the basic education sub-sector in particular and education generally, he called on other states of the federation to take a leaf from Kano.
"I assure you that Governor Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje is one of our great leaders in the APC, in this country. I am highly elated with what I heard and what I saw here, as part of his government' s achievements in the area of education," he encouraged.
Ganduje, he argued "Is one of the greatest advocates of education in the country. We are as such calling on other states to copy from what Governor Ganduje is doing in developing the state. I am also calling on all to fully understand that, all hands must be on deck to save education in the country."
At the occasion a brand new car was given to the Best Head Teacher, Musa Auwal Gwarzo, from Gwarzo Model Primary School, the Best Teacher of the Award goes to Garba Shehu Sule, who was given a brand new motorcycle and the Best Non-Teaching Staff Award goes to Malam Ado, a messenger, who was also given a brand new motorcycle.
Malam Ado, because of his honesty and integrity, he returned back the sum of Seven Hundred and Fifty Naira (N750,000) he found at the premises of the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) to the owner sometime in the past. As a result of which, governor Ganduje gave him the sum of Two Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira (N250,000). He broke into tears instantly, as the governor announced to the gathering what he was dashing him.
Anwar is the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor of Kano State