By Ado Hasaan, Sokoto
The immediate past Governor of Niger state and Chief Servant, Dr Muazu Babangida Aliyu has lamented the dwindling educational status in the northern states, calling for a holistic approach to stem the quest for academic excellence with commensurate qualified teachers.
He decried how NCE was left too exposed to those who venture into the course as alternative to nothing to hold onto.
” We need to conduct a thorough research survey to know the impact of cancelling Grade II certificate.”
Aliyu who was Guest Speaker noted in Sokoto at the weekend while delivering a paper under the theme: “Place of COEs in the Development of Nigeria” as part of activities lined up for the Golden Jubilee
and 22nd Convocation ceremony of the prestigious Shehu Shagari College of Education , Sokoto.
According to the former governor, the north needed to pay attention to not only raising standards but ensure the place of the teaching profession was adequately promoted and protected .
He said ” its disheartening to note that no state in the north can boast of 50% qualified teachers.
” More saddening, 80% of out of school children are in the north with Kebbi state having the highest cut.”
The Chief Servant who also holds the royal title of Taliban Minna pointed out that the principles of education should be taught in schools to further create avenue for evolving a concept on Grade II or something better to propel quality teaching.
” It is clear that the teaching profession has been bastardised to the last that teachers are no longer respected “, he pointed out.
In the same vein, he said ” all we need is to have committed professional teachers who will promote education , morals, growth and development to change the narrative “, noting that ” today, more than half the students of COEs are in those who fail to secure university admission .”
While reflecting on the past as Governor, Aliyu said” I visited a school where more than 70 pupils were jam-packed with only two teachers in the school and another using a classroom for different arms of classes. I was left in shock as to how the pupils will cope in such a discouraging environment and condition.”