Opinion: The Sorry State Of Education In Katsina State – By Hamza Nura Hussain Kaita
Looking at section 18(3)(a)of the 1999 constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria and section 2(1) of the compulsory free Universal Basic Education Act, of 2004, it is clear that EVERY Nigerian child is entitled to a free, compulsory basic education. However, alot of our Children are being deprived of this right.
Let’s stop deceiving ourselves and say the bitter truth. The fact is is that our succesive governments have failed woefully in terms of education while playing politics with the issue. These are my reasons;
1. Hundreds of thousands of children are out of school in Katsina State, Many of which are Almajiri Children. The present and past administrations have done virtually nothing about it.
2. A large number of communities have no accessibility to basic education as there are no schools in their areas. Children trek long distances to attend schools.
3. Where there are schools, the teachers are marred by incompetency and inefficiency. This is as a result of recruitment of teachers based on the principle of “Who you know” not “what you know” coupled with lack of motivation and impunity of some teachers. Also alot of schools especially in the rural areas are still in dilapidated conditions with a number of them still holding lessons under trees.
4. A large number of those leaving primary schools can neither read nor write, let alone speak English.
5. Most of our secondary students are attending schools for attending sake. They just attend, copy notes and return home. This is because they lack the basic foundation necessary for appreciation of concepts used in teaching them. If you teach in our public secondary schools, you find yourself in a dilemma of wether to teach in Hausa or in English. If you use Hausa, you are killing their future pursuit of knowledge. If you opt for English, 90% of them will not be carried along.
6. The most appalling one is when you talk about our higher institutions. I still cannot imagine people being awarded NCE certificates without knowing how to write their lesson plans. I was opportuned to serve in an interview panel of a private school in Katsina. What I discovered is scaring as majority of those who applied with Degrees and NCEs from Katsina institutions were not able to express themselves using simple English. The fact remains that a large number of those graduating from our higher institutions are not employable. The big question is who is graduating them? To find this answer we need to take a look at what is happening in those institutions. This is a story for another day.
The problems are so numerous that can not be adequately potrayed in this little write up. I dont beleive that WAEC and NECO results should be used as a yardstick for measuring educational performance of Katsina State. This is because 99% of our schools both public and private do engage in exams malpractice in the name of assistance. Whatever result is obtained is not realistic as the students cannot defend such results. So, I suggest we stop using statistics to politically measure the performance of our various governments. For Me, both the PDP and APC led administrations have failed in the area of providing qualitative education for our sons and daughters and they should be held responsible for the sorry state of education in the state. This represents my personal opinion.
Hamza Nura Hussain Kaita,
A concerned citizen.