By Ndahi Marama, MAIDUGURI
Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State has directed the Secretary to the State Government, SSG, Alhaji Usman Jidda Shuwa to review the law establishing the State’s Universal Basic Education Commission, SUBEC, to overcome challenges in the education sector and stem brain drain.
Governor Zulum gave the directive on Tuesday in Maiduguri, at a three-day conference for Principals of Government Secondary Schools at Technical Secondary School, Njimtilo.
He also said the falling standards of education and indiscipline in over 185 secondary schools in the state is worrisome.
On educational challenges with the theme: “Revamping Public Secondary Schools by Addressing Emerging Challenges,” Zulum said: “Henceforth, I’ve directed the Commissioner for Education, Engr. Lawan Wakilbe, the Primary Education and Teaching Service Boards (TSB) to work in synergy.
He attributed the underdevelopment of education in the state to lack of synergy among the two boards and the Ministry of Education, MoE.
“The review of SUBEC law was to give more powers to the MoE,” he said, stating that the transition from primary to junior secondary is very important.
He assured the principals that the state government in its 2022 budget provisions will prioritize the procurement of science equipment, including various incentives for teachers.
According to him, more staff quarters are to be built to improve teachers’ welfare to raise standards and efficiency in the education sector.
“There should be more emphasis on Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) than building more schools to overcome the educational challenges,” Zulum said.
Wakilbe disclosed that the emerging issues and challenges in sector border on the lack of learning centres, examination malpractices, nonchalant attitude towards work, poor feeding programmes and infrastructural deficits.
He commended former governor Kashim Shettima for building education infrastructure, and Governor Zulum for the completion of 16 mega-schools, building and rehabilitation of 432 classrooms in 48 schools, 39 news schools.
He noted that these initiatives have assisted in repositioning the sector which has suffered massive destruction by terrorists in the last 12 years.
He added that the State Government has also constructed 242 VIP toilets to improve personal hygiene among teachers and students.
Wakilbe noted that despite the achievements in the education sector, the existing and new schools are facing infrastructural problems of inadequate supply of electricity and water in schools.
“There are structural damages in some of our schools, including uncompleted structures and dilapidated ones,” he said.
He said that the conference will submit its recommendations to the government for solutions on the challenges in the sector.
The Chairman of TSB, Dr. Suleima Bello disclosed that the destruction of schools during the 12-year Boko Haram insurgency has a devastating effect on the psyche of teachers, as well as students.
According to him, this resulted in the behavioral, as well as attitudinal misinforms comprising aggressiveness, indiscipline, absenteeism and nonchalant attitude to work.
He added that 800 science teachers were employed with the enrolment of 1.3 million children in the last two years.