By Musa Sunusi Ahmad
Nasarawa State Governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule, has vowed to uplift the standard of education in the state, stressing that God will not forgive him, if after realising the decay in the sector, he leaves office without doing anything.
Engineer Sule made this known while being presented with a report on baseline survey on educational wellbeing of both primary and secondary schools across the state, at the Government House, on Thursday.
The baseline survey was conducted by a committee headed by Professor Mohammed Isa Kida, Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences and Management Studies, Federal University Lafia.
The Governor who lamented the dilapidated conditions of some of the schools in the state, said God will not forgive him, if he leaves office knowing the position he met the schools and yet he did nothing.
While thanking members of the committee for carrying out a wonderful job, particularly the chairman, Professor Kida, known for his thoroughness and passion for such research work, Engineer Sule said what he wanted, which is in line with his character, was for the committee to present the facts, no matter how painful, so that the administration can start work from ground zero.
The Governor said he is committed to education, especially science and technical education, adding that his administration will work as much as possible to reposition the sector.
He commended various administrations for their efforts to improve the standard of education in the state, singling out the administration of former governor Senator Umaru Tank Al-makura, for embarking on the massive construction of schools.
“Every Governor that came in, focused and concentrated on areas of their own interest, or areas that they strongly believe will promote education.
“But education in totality requires so many diverse areas. I am committed to education in Nasarawa State, and today really, is one of my best days.
“This is a day I have been looking forward to, so that you can come and make this kind of presentation, so we will now start from there and build the sector,” he stated.
Engineer Sule, while recounting how he turned around the former AP Petroleum from a negative balance sheet to a positive balance sheet, said he is ready to burst the bubble in order to start from ground zero.
The Governor said from the inspection tour he undertook across some schools in each of the senatorial zones, some of the structures are unfit to serve as learning centres to groom children of the state.
“When you mentioned that 90 percent of our schools, especially primary schools, are dilapidated, a lot of people who don’t understand what is happening in the state, may not believe you,” he stated.
Engineer Sule said because of the special interest he has for science and technology, the state government hastened to complete the skill acquisition centre along Jos Road, started by the Senator Al-makura administration.
According to the Governor, the centre which has 12 shops, running courses in electrical installation, fitter machinist, motor mechanic, carpentry and joinery, wielding, fabrication, radio and television, air-condition and refrigeration and agricultural mechanization, will hopefully start admitting trainees this year.
He disclosed plans to also turn around two technical schools located in Assakio and Agwada, while promising to personally renovate the Government Science School Lafia.
“We are going to work as much as possible to promote science and technical education.
“I am pleading with our people to understand because to me, having a handcraft, will help you a lot to even set up your business,” the Governor said.
Earlier, while presenting the report, Chairman of the committee, Prof Kida, said it consists of raw data for primary schools in six volumes, as well as three volumes for secondary schools, obtained from across the 13 local government areas of the state.
He pointed out that the survey started December last year, with the report serving as benchmark, since according to him, the objective of baseline survey is to establish the baseline where to start, so that the administration will know where it is going.
Prof Kida revealed that there are 1391 primary schools and 419 secondary schools in Nasarawa State, out of which there are 19 junior, about 320 senior and 29 boarding schools.
He said, as researchers, they have done their work by stating the facts, some of which will make the Governor happy, while others will make him sad.
Some of the findings from the report include, that 90 percent of the schools are in the rural areas, , 72 percent of headteachers in primary schools are not qualified, because the national requirement for being a headmaster is a minimum of degree not NCE, among others.
“70 percent of the schools reported that 30 percent of the pupils don’t come to classes regularly,” he stated.