By Denrele Animasaun
‘With an education you all have everything you need to rise above all of the noise and fulfil every last one of your dreams’-Michelle Obama
I was at my dentist, Dr Midhat, for a check-up and we got talking. I do like to talk, especially when the other person is as receptive as I am and even better when we have shared interests: family, Nigeria, world affairs and education.
One subject led to another, she was curious about my name and I told her, then she wanted to know where I came from, I said, Nigeria. She told me, her family lived in the north of Nigeria and that her father has schools in Kano.
I wanted to know more so she told me about her father, Muzaffar Mansoor, the Chairman and Chief Executive of Agriman Industries Limited and the founder of Kano Model Schools Chain. I asked her if I could speak to him and wondered what made him decide to build schools in Nigeria.
Education is a big investment and a very honourable one too.
The late UK Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, was once asked what was most important, she replied, “Education, Education, Education”.
And Mandela said of education: ‘as the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world’.
You cannot argue with that. As Nigerians, parents have always prized education as a significant tool that transforms the lives of the family and the community. Nigerians understood the transformative power of education and how it can change the fortunes as well as help lift people out of poverty.
Unfortunately, not every young Nigerian can have the opportunity to have access to education, due to the state of the economy, government cuts in resources and abject poverty.
And according to the United Nations, over 8.73 million elementary school-aged Nigerian children in 2010 did not participate in education at all, making Nigeria the country with the highest number of out-of-school children in the world. Nigeria’s government recently acknowledged that the country has the highest number of children out of school in the world. It says there are 10.5 million children not being educated. That is staggering and far too many.
The lack of adequate education for its children weakens the Nigerian system to its foundation. So, to address the problem, thousands of new schools have been built in recent years but it is a little too late. Alas, improvements in total enrolment numbers in elementary schools, the basic education system remains underfunded; facilities are often poor, teachers inadequately trained, and participation rates are low by international standards.
So schools like the Kano model school is very much needed to address the shortfall also to provide high standard of education that is accessible to the local population.
And the motto of the Kano model school: ‘from education to progress’ speak true to the aspirations of many Nigerians.
For over 27 years, it has grown in stature and quality.
Investing in education really does pay dividends and it has a ripple effect, one that transforms not only the individual but the family and community at large.
Judging from the comments left on the school’s social media page, the students, past and present have only good things to say about the schools and their experiences: ‘All students old or new are members of Kano Model School ‘KMSAA’ please continue to look after your school’s development and progress as only this school became instrumental to your intellectual progress in life and careers’
And it is obvious that they hold Mr Mansoor so dear for his ever present support and care.
Speaking to Mr Mansoor, I asked him:
“Can you, tell the readers about yourself, your background, childhood”?
“My name is Muzaffar Mansoor, also known as Agriman. I am a son of a decorated retired soldier who served in the Royal British Army in the 2nd world war, a dedicated educationist who worked hard to promote educational development to uplift the standard of human beings. He was also a farmer until he moved to Nigeria and then Germany where he had passed away. My grandfather was too a dedicated educationist, who served his whole life to educate the communities. I hold a B.Sc. (Hons) and M.Sc. (Hons) in Agriculture science in Genetic Engineering with specialisation in wheat breading. I first came to Nigeria in 1980. I have been an instrument of wheat production in Kano State of Nigeria. I have also commissioned many agricultural projects under consultancy services by Agriman in Lagos, Bendel, Ogun, Gongola, Niger and Katsina states of Nigeria under Agriman Industries Limited first established in 1983. I hold post-graduate in Law and Legal practice since 1999. I am also a Solicitor and Advocate of the Supreme Court of England and Wales. I began practicing law in 1996.(this man has education coursing through his veins)
Nigeria means a lot to me and my family being our first home where I spent most of my life and I always thought and worked for its progress and development with my expertise in Agriculture and Education.
“You have invested so much in Nigeria, what motivates you?
Service to humanity under the motto: ‘love for all and hatred for none ‘is the strongest motivation that led me to invest my expertise dedication investment in the field of agriculture and education.
I established KANO MODEL SCHOOL “KMS” in Kano, Kano State of Nigeria in August 1991 with a bias in science and technology. KMS is one of the best senior secondary schools in Nigeria. It has 3 branches each at Murtala Muhammad Way, Badawa and Hotoro. There are over 80 staff and their families connected and are benefitting from this enterprise. The management of the KMS was transferred to the first student of KMS at the silver jubilee occasion in December 2016. The KMS offers high standard pre and post primary to senior secondary school education. In 27 years, the KMS has produced doctors, engineers, scientists, lawyers, judges, economists, civil servants, pilots, teachers, soldiers and good human beings.
Who and what inspires you?
The credit goes to my late grandfather, father and mother who inspired me to render my services with the consistent help and encouragement from my wife, Bushra.
My children also remain steadfast with my mission to serve humanity.
What drives you?
My strength always drives me to do something good for fellow human beings, the needy and under privileged and I enjoy doing so.
You said you are committed to educational development and progress, what do you mean by that and why?
Provision of best and affordable education to children at the grass root level and to invest in areas to benefit humanity at large is the main commitment.
Can you tell me about your schools including your most recent one and what are your expectations for your teachers and students?
To achieve the above mission, KMS has recently commissioned its ultra-modern branch at Murtala Muhammad Way. More schools can be opened in other areas or states with our richly tested expertise and consultancy of about three decades. Any interested party either from public or private sector can use our services.