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Education in Niger: Gov Bello’s legacy

By Ahmed Mohammed

Many residents of Niger State believe the development of capital projects  executed across the state by Gov Abubakar Sani Bello have  endorsed him for another term ahead of next year’s  general elections.

Abubakar Sani-Bello

According to the people, Bello  unprecedented performance plus his unending responses to the yearnings of the people irrespective of political differences was beyond measure.

Of importance to them is the administration’s commitment in the educational sector , which they noted has not only ensured a robust and qualitative leadership , but succeeded in repositioning the educational sector for optimal growth.

Based on the state government’s commitment to lifting the standard of education in the state, the sector was accorded priority with the highest budget proposal of N4.1 billion for the 2017 fiscal year.

Findings revealed that  the Niger government has spent over N4.3 billion on renovation of 5,065 classrooms, construction of 123 blocks of classrooms and 2,096 toilets in some selected schools across the state.

The measures was part of the state government commitment of providing conducive atmosphere for learning as well as providing qualitative education for the future generation. It was also gathered that  the state government also provided furniture for the use of teaching and non teaching staff in some selected schools.

The expended fund was part of the counterpart funding from the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC’s) intervention programme for 2013 and 2014, which could not be accessed by the previous administration in the state.

Already the state government has provided funds in reconstructing and renovating nine schools selected across the three senatorial zones of the state. Schools and colleges renovated  include: Government Girls Modern School, Bida; Justice Idris Legbo Science College, Kutigi; Government Science College, Baro and Maryam Babangida Girls Science College, Minna. Others were: Government Science College Izom; Government Secondary School, Tegina; Mu’azu Commercial College Kotangora; Government Girls Science School Kotangora and Government Secondary School, Rijau among others.

The Niger government has also spent over N2 billion on procurement of motorcycles for 10,000 primary and junior secondary school teachers to facilitate their movement to hard-to-reach areas in the state.   Governor Bello released N2 billion as  loan obtained from a first generation bank by Niger State Universal Basic Education (N-SUBEB)  for procurement of motorcycles for the beneficiary teachers.

Through the loan, a teacher would be given a motorcycle loan  payable within 18 months. Just to  make access to rural areas easy.

Niger State has some 3,166 primary schools and 460 junior secondary schools, spread across hard-to-reach areas.  Malam Abubakar Isa Ibeto ,a resident of Ibeto town in Magama local government area, lauded the effort of Gov Bello for providing require needs of education sector in the state.

“The only legacy any responsible government will leave behind for future generation is provision of sound education through the provision of essential learning facilities”, he said.

“ Bello will win the forth coming generation election because of the modest achievement recorded in the areas of Education, health care ,Agriculture and rural roads in the state.”

Isa, a retired primary school teacher, described  Bello as a man sent by God to reposition the educational sector.

Already the Niger government has  reintroduced teachers colleges in a bid to enhance quality of basic education in the state.

The teachers colleges have been  established in Agaie, Nasarawa-Kainji and Mararaba Dan-Dauda in the first phase of the programme.

It was also gathered that  a teacher institute would also be established to coordinate the training of teachers across the state. The governor Bello said that arrangements have been concluded for the take off of three teachers colleges to provide smooth academic ground for personnel to manage public schools. He also said that the state government would continue to retrained teachers to enable them acquire knowledge for positive impacts on the lives of the expected leaders of tomorrow. Bello revealed recently: “The state government has made appreciable achievement in giving our schools face-lift under the Whole School Development Approach (WSDA)”, adding that the approach would be expanded to additional 12 schools across the state He said that the measure was part of government determination to provide conducive learning atmosphere for pupils to excel.

  • Mohammad is a Minna based public affairs analyst.

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