Fmr. Niger state Governor, Muazu Babangida Aliyu

blames insecurity for setback in the north

Former Governor of Niger state, Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu has disclosed that part of the challenges facing Education sector in the country is the scrapping of Teachers Training Colleges (TTCs) which produces Grade 2 teachers.

It should be noted that, the National Policy on Education which was published in 1977 indicated the desire to have National Certificate of Education (NCE) to be the minimum qualification to qualify for teaching profession, this accoridng to the former Governor has not answered the many questions bedeviling the sector till date.

Aliyu who was the Special Guest Speaker at the 22nd Convocation & Golden Jubilee Celebration of the Shehu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto on Sunday said the problems of Nigeria education system is not about policy making but on implementations.

While speaking on the topic: “The Place of Colleges of Education in the Development of Nigeria”, Aliyu said it has become imperative considering the numerous challenges that bedeviled the education sector.

“This is exacerbated by the cancellation of TTCs, producing Grade two teachers to fill the lowest cadre of teaching profession.

“Another issue causing setback to the education sector is that most of the teachers were yet to go digital in line with global best practices.This is to ensure retention of the best teachers to manage the sector, adding that many of the teacing profession are not Information Communication Technology (ICT) compliant.

Furthermore, he said “for Colleges of Education to take their proper place in the development of Nigeria; teachers must get proper recognition, education must be seen as a son-quo-non, the foundation for quality manpower development, creator of wealth, the conveyor of successes in life and as well, service to humanity”.

Babangida Aliyu regreted that lack of formulation of proper education policies befitting for Nigeria also gave rise to the discordant tunes in the sector between the northern and southern part of the country giving rise to jetisonning of western education by some misguided elements.

Accordingly, he said “though, education remained stunted in the north with the propaganda that Western Education was ‘Haram’ or ‘Forbidden’ as being propagated by the notorious islamic extremist group, Boko-Haram, I encourage northern Governors to intensify efforts at bridging the disparity between the region and their southern counterpart.

“Northern States have virtually been devastated by the insecurity; North East may take many years to recover from the activities of the notorious Boko Haram that has been on for more than eleven years, killing and maiming innocent lives, causing refugee problems and as well Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), villages and towns deserted”.

Aliyu who said he is optimistics that with sound education most of the challenges of the north can be surmounted argued that, “When you look at what is happening in the states of Katsina, Zamfara, Sokoto and Kaduna in the North West, where armed bandits and the kidnappers hold sway, then you know we are in big trouble, farming opportunities stunted, markets deserted and travelling almost impossible.

“The Abuja-Kaduna-Zaria road, Zaria-Gusau, Zaria-Katsina have now become dangerous to ply, some years back people enjoyed more night travel but all these have become almost impossible today. Some of us travelled on motorcycles to our hometowns on holidays but all these are no longer possible due to insecurity.

“The worst hit at the moment is the North-Central states including Niger which suffers from the spill-over of Zamfara kidnapping and armed banditry activities, the bandits now pick people from their homes.

“Benue is suffering from the herders/farmers conflicts while Nasarawa and Kogi recently suffered the problems of adherents of Darul-Salam that was dislodged from Mokwa, Niger state in 2009”.

The former Niger state Governor therefore challenged present day leaders at the three tiers of government to, “Pay more attention to the health and education systems, hence ending medical and education tourism outside the country where there is no ASUU strike, no Sales of Handouts and no victimization by unethical teachers”.

Daniel Okpole Atori is a public affairs analyst, Communication Expert, Media facilitator, renowned Journalist with flair for high professionalism in the media world spanning over 13 years. He has worked with Pen Watch Newspaper, Nigerian Compass Newspapers and currently with Eagle Online as Niger State Bureau Chief and New Telegraph Newspapers as Niger State Correspondent

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