OPINION: Feed their brains not stomach; a criticism on Masari’s proposed feeding program – By Ibrahim Sulaiman
INSTEAD OF FEEDING THEIR TUMMY, WHY NOT FEED THEIR BRAIN/MIND: A SHORT CRITICISM ON PROPOSED ALLOCATION OF RESOURCES TO PRIMARY EDUCATION IN KATSINA STATE IN THE NAME OF SCHOOL FEEDING PROGRAM
Ibrahim Sulaiman (baba karami)
The situation of primary education in katsina state appears to be worse than that of secondary education, there is no enough manpower, no learning materials, dilapidated buildings among others, and it is financed mainly from the local appropriation that is administratively controlled by SUBEB. The present administration is completely and seriously off track to meet the goals of education for all, it will require significant policy-retooling and unprecedented increase in welfare of teachers as well as proper and adequate incentives arrangement to achieve the goal of universal primary education. As far as I am concern, school feeding is a well-designed policy, but absolutely wrong in terms of implementation, it is just a way of looting people’s money, the current administration should think again. Check other states that implemented it, does the program yield any tangible outcome? Of what benefit it is when an innocent child from a poor household ended-up consuming poor quality education, please do not form another impediment to universal education enrollment!
Dear prof, you are a woman I so much respect even though I have never meet with you before, your ministry is vested with the administrative authority of setting good and sound standards as well as ensuring that they are subscribed to and realized, I believe this is not from you ma, please bring it to the attention of the politicians and make them see the danger of the step they are taking. Decentralizing education in Nigeria already has its problem, taking this measure will add up to the existing one. school feeding program will only cause adverse demand effects at primary school level, and any mistake/ misstep taken now at this level it will be difficult to correct in the future. How will you even think of such program in this period of resource limitation and what I call ‘inadequate management’ of public expenditure by the current administration in the state? misplaced priority!
On a final note, this program will cause serious disparity and generate social and economic cost, it is short sighted program which will never stand the test of continuity as far as katsina state is concern. We have resource constrain and poor or even lack of genuine/standard source of revenue aside the share from the national cake. In fact, the program lacks quality education for freedom as goal in it.
What you should do to avoid the phrase “duk masarice”
The current recruitment of teachers and replacement is a very good step towards ensuring quality education in the state (although my local government still has 74 primary schools and less than 130 teachers with some schools playing one school one teacher, not only in my town but across the state as the story is the same in other parts of the state) I advise… Stop playing politics with Education expenditures e.g. painting classrooms with party colour!
Increasing the number of teachers is a necessary, but sufficient is the need for designed program for the teachers to be empowered. Look, the key element needed for an effective basic education delivery in the state is teacher’s welfare not feeding the pupils.
Determine the substance of school curriculum, teachers’ compensation and discipline, budget allocation and not just access but also quality of the education.