There have been many policies and programs by the different governments, NGOs, Community Based Organizations and other individuals or philantropists in Katsina State and other States of the federation, trying to ensure provision of quality education for all kids, regardless of religion, tribe or social status. However, it is one of the primary responsibilities of every government to educate its people across all levels of the society without fear or favour.
Inspite of all these efforts by the government and other developmental agencies and partners, the purpose or aim of this concerted efforts, seems unattained. As such, there are bunch of serious questions by the society of where the problem lies? What has not been done? Are these policies not sound enough to address these educational challenges in our society? Or is it the issue of policy formation and application? Who has not done what, when and where? To list but just a few, out of many thought provoking questions posed by the system and concerned citizens of the State.
In the quest to find answers to the above lingering questions, many issues began to unfold. The level of government commitment, the roles of parents, traditional institutions, elites, youths and other individuals in the community or society, in trying to ensure children and youths are properly and productively educated for the betterment of the State. It eventually became very glaring and convincing that, it is a “collective failure” by the government and society to rise to their obligatory roles and responsibility of providing quality education to the people.
Government can not do it all alone. It has never happened before and it will be very rare if it will happen now. Educating a child is not a one time or one person project. It is a collective and continues project that requires everyone; the government, parents, teachers, traditional rulers, elders and many more people in the community to produce an educated child. The more each and every category of these people or group plays its role judiciously, the easier it becomes in providing quality education to our society. It is not about whom to blame? Its about what do we all do to contribute in providing quality education to the people of Katsina State?
The positive consequences or gains of giving a child quality education does not end or accrue to the child alone or his parents, rather, the other people also in the society. In other words, there’s a multiplier neighborhood effects for educating a child. In this regards, all parents ought to come together to give their children the necessary up bringing guidance and also ensure that all kids go to school for the benefits of the community and society at large.
Traditional rulers should always work in conjunction with parents and other important stakeholders in the community for any developmental initiatives that will contribute immensely in achieving an educated society. This is very important for householders and traditional rulers are partners in the progressive movement and development of the people and society. As such, they should effectively carry their societal responsibilities that will sanitize and create an enabling environment for the achievement of greater goods and also maintain moral principles of the society.
Youths should live by example in the society, for younger ones always look up to them. They should live an exemplary life that will entice emulation. More especially the successful ones that have attained some level of success in different sphares of life. They should look for a way to give back to the very society that sacrificed so much to produce them. Such as coming up with creative ideas and iniatives that will help in educating our kids and sensitise our adults which are the most important segments of the society. And any other thing that may be of help in achieving an enlightened society.
Philanthropists and other individuals also have a lot to contribute in the desiring project of providing a quality education for the people in the Society. At this juncture, I would like to praise and appreciate the efforts of Engr. Muttaqa Rabe Darma, for his laudable efforts to organised a town hall meeting, through Katsina Forum, two weeks ago, that comprises all kind of people, including state government representative, at Soli Center, Katsina. To discuss a theme; “How to Ensure Equal Access to Correct and Quality Education”. Its a wonderful initiative even though I noticed some level of digressions from the “theme” during the discussion, for I was fully in attendance. Therefore, Stakeholders should come up with initiatives of this kind that will create an avenue through which people at the community level will converge in a place and discuss their community problems and the possible ways forward that will assist in bridging the social gaps of our society.
Government should review some of its educational policies towards achieving education for all. The educational system should be more accommodative and impartial to all types of children. There are many children who have never been enrolled to any school while others are drops out or victims of some flimsy circumstances that could have been avoided systematically. The question of “inclusive education” is indeed Paramount and until it is answered or addressed, the present challenges of our educational system will continue to hunt us down until we become weak and vulnerable to the viruses of ignorance. Government should also find a way to work hand in hand with these agents of community or societal development.
The idea of equal access to quality education is of utmost importance as we’ve transited into different generation. This will enable our young people to develop their talents to the fullest and enjoy all the possible benefits and opportunities around them. It is an information era, geared by science and technology and also continues competitive global market that challenge individuals to prepare enough for the bigger challenges that lie ahead.
The future of our state and our people depends upon largely the type and quality of education we give to the younger ones, who are undauntedly the leaders of our tomorrow. The consequences of our actions will continue to determine our stake and fate in few years to come in this new millennium. So let’s look for community based solutions to the problems we can attend to, in our capacity as individuals, groups and other organizations.
In conclusion, I call upon all members of our able and respected society to take it upon ourselves that we will all put our hands on desk to salvage the future of our dear state by contributing in any way we can for the provision of quality education to our people. I know it doesn’t look or sound easy. And I also understand that we may not be able to achieve it, shortly. But I believe in the spirit of teamwork and hardwork and the power of prayers of our elders, the sincerity of purpose and the ideals of our society. I believe we can and we will, in the Almighty name of Allah.
Bello Sani Farouq,
Twitter Handle: Bsfarouq