Governor Bala, what Is the fate of education in Bauchi state?

The last time the Bauchi state government recruited teachers in its primary and secondary schools was in 2014-2015 when Dr Malam Isah Yuguda was in power. Since then, no single teacher has been employed again in the sector despite cases of retirement, changes of cadres and death.

It may not interest readers to hear that with these sad and unwelcome developments, Bauchi state has been enumerated among the states having a high number of out-of-school children in Nigeria. According to UNESCO, in October 2022, Bauchi had the highest figures, amounting to 1,239,759.

These alarming figures are not unconnected to government’s failure to recruit apt teachers, provide enough instructional materials and non-payment of staff salaries. This weird and mind-boggling development has thrown thousands of Bauchi kids out of school, and sadly others to street begging and other criminal activities.

Imagine a whole primary school having one teacher with a population of about 350 pupils. There are many schools in the Lame district of Toro local government area with only one teacher. Not just Lame district, but almost all primary schools in the state’s rural areas are facing similar problems. Pupils receive classes under the shed trees with no chairs. Hmm! Not just primary schools, but even our secondary schools are in terrible condition.

Recently, newspapers reported how the lack of teachers and infrastructure forced the closure of many primary schools and turned pupils into farmers in Alkaleri, the governor’s local government area. Still, it was reported that multiple public primary schools, especially in the semi-urban and rural areas of the state, are either run by volunteer teachers hired by the community development committee or by public-spirited individuals in their quest to attract parents and children who are shunning school.

Surprisingly, the authorities are aware of the situation. There was a time when Korijo Usman, the SUBEB, director of state, told journalists that there were 79 primary schools in Misau local government area and each school had one teacher.

The governor himself had once condemned the system while expressing his dissatisfaction with the bad condition of the Dumi School. He stated that he was unhappy with SUBEB and the state’s ministry of education.

Therefore, if the governor himself can condemn the system yet nothing has been done to fix it, then, the future of our kids is at stake. Also, the government has indicated its ineptitude to revive the sector.

If the World Bank and other NGOs could steadfastly be donating humongous funds just to revamp the sector, I accuse the state government of embezzling the funds since nothing has been done yet.

However, the dilapidated condition of the schools must be attributed to the activities of vandals and the negligence of the host communities, government negligence contributes to nearly 70% of the problems. It is undeniable that unscrupulous elements are carting away school belongings having government agents as the masterminds

Therefore, education in Bauchi state is on the verge of collapse as the no’s are many. As such, I’m calling on the present administration of Bala Muhammad Abdulkadir to as a matter of urgent public importance, employ sufficient teachers, build enough classes as well as renovate the abandoned ones.

Notwithstanding, paying teachers’ salaries on time, and promoting those who are supposed to be promoted would indeed help in revitalising the education sector in the state, if not, the whole system will soon collapse and the position of the state education sector will be nowhere to be found.

Ukasha Rabiu Magama,
Magama, Toro, Bauchi state,
[email protected]