Revitalizing Education in Yobe: Governor Buni’s budget to the rescue, by Hassan Gimba

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In his inaugural address on the 29th of May, 2019, the Yobe State Governor, His Excellency, Honourable Mai Mala Buni, declared a State of Emergency in Primary and Secondary Education in the state, which he followed up by hosting an Education Summit on the 1st of July, after which a Technical Committee was set up under the chairmanship of Professor Malah Daura, a former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Maiduguri.

A process kickstarted by the governor that would see 500 undergraduates and 200 postgraduate students benefit from Foreign Scholarships is also about to be completed.

 

Just before the governor left for the last Hajj, he received the report of Professor Daura led Technical Committee. It was primarily set up to provide a road map for the revitalization of Basic and Secondary Education. He promptly approved its implementation after studying it.

However, revitalizing education is not a propaganda issue because this can only be achieved through proper and adequate funding.

This is why Neptune Prime looked at Yobe State’s budget last year and this year. We compared them regarding sectoral distribution and also the allocation to education since 2014.

Budgetary Allocations

We found out that in this year’s budget, the education sector had the largest allocation of N22.853b or 21.08%. Last year it was allocated N22.171 or 24.19%.

However, the years 2014, 2015, 2017 and 2018 had very low allocations for education.

To achieve the desired result in education, considering that in the past education has had a fair share of budgetary allocation, perhaps Governor Buni must do something different and drastic.

READ ALSO: Yobe @28: Gov. Buni prays, approves education report, flags off roads construction

For instance, based on the report of Professor Daura committee, he has approved the immediate implementation of the following:

·A manpower audit to screen all teaching staff across the state, authenticate their certificates and the forms or types of formal training they had gone through.

·Conduct of basic, general and professional competency tests on teachers in the state.

·Identification of teachers who need training, re-training or re-assigning to other sectors as appropriate and how to fill in any gaps that may arise.

·Identification of additional qualified teachers for recruitment at all levels of the school system.

·Establishment of one model school for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education in each of the three senatorial districts of the state. Three existing schools will be converted for this purpose and a steering committee that has already been set up will work to formalize arrangements for the conversion of the schools and the conduct of needs assessment to meet immediate take-off requirements. 

The schools earmarked for STEM education are Government Secondary School Damaturu (Zone A), Government Science and Technical College Potiskum (Zone B) and Government Science and Technical College Nguru (Zone C).

Conclusion

While the implementation is ongoing, the governor will have to look critically at some issues. One has to do with personnel. Who are those to be saddled with realising the governor’s dream? The responsibility of turning around or reversing the downward spiral education has witnessed in the state.

Again, are there loopholes to be plugged? These and many other factors have to be considered by the governor. This will aid his dream to propel Yobe State into the Next Level in all ramifications.

Stakeholders believe the governor has good intentions for the state. He has come with a farsighted vision of what the state ought to be. He will surely achieve greatness for Yobe through educating its youth.

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