The Federal Government has accused northern governors of destroying primary and nomadic education with their poor attitudes in the management of the sector.
The Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, made the allegation during the Ministerial Media Briefing organized by the Presidential Communications Team at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Thursday.
Responding to a question on the poor handling of nomadic education in the country, he affirmed that it has suffered the same fate as primary education.
He stated: “Then nomadic education. Let me tell you the problem we have in nomadic education is like the problem I had when I came with my journalistic exuberance into government. And I believed, let’s say an emergency will be declared. I know I said it here. But on reflection, not by me, but by the government, we found that declaring the emergency is more of a matter for states. And so my effort was directed at the states.
“When I presented my memo to the council, I was asked to go and present it to the National Economic Council. And I presented the paper three times trying to convince state governments to see the wisdom in declaring an emergency at least in the primary schools. And then that will strengthen the hand of the government even if by way of intervention to help the states to rescue primary schools. Because whatever, as Minister of Education I’m able to do here will amount to nothing if the foundational education system is already rotten.
“The way our primary schools are…and I would like to say this about governors, especially in the northern states. It is as if they are looking for power to destroy education at the primary school level. Except for a few, I don’t think there’s any governor who has any good story to say about primary education and nomadic education. The federal government is only making interventions.
“So, unless we have full cooperation from the states, I think achieving the objectives of nomadic education will take a long time to come. I hope states will change their attitude,” he added.
It will be recalled that the Federal Government established the National Commission for Nomadic Education in 1989 to give nomads unfettered access to basic education.
The succeeding Nomadic Education Programme similarly had the objective of providing and widening access to quality basic education for nomads in Nigeria, “boosting literacy and equipping them with skills and competencies to enhance their well-being and participation in the nation-building process.”
The Minister also noted that the conception of the N15 billion Almajiri school initiative by the President Goodluck Jonathan administration was defective but is now being incorporated into the education system.
About 165 schools were constructed under the initiative meant to provide Western and Islamic education and tackle the problem of out-of-school children in the North.
He stated: “I think the conception of almajiri schools and how to run them were not properly done by the government we inherited. But I know right now they are being incorporated into our schools.
“As I told you, there are now about 6 million out-of-school children, probably some of them who are trooping here (Abuja), but certainly there should be government policy to stop the movement of almajiri or almajirai, as they’re called Hausa. A provision should be made for instructing them wherever they are,” he explained.
Earlier, in his presentation, Adamu disclosed that the federal government has so far identified 70 illegal universities and 125 Colleges of Education.
According to him, despite the efforts of the present government to ensure unfettered access to university education, the challenges posed by illegal universities still persist.
“As I speak, the NUC has identified approximately 70 illegal universities in the country. We will not rest on our oars in cracking down on illegal universities in the country. The challenges of illegal Colleges of Education are as profound as that of illegal universities. We have also identified an alarming number of illegal Colleges of Education, totalling 125.
“The National Commission for Colleges of Education has written to their proprietors to shut down within a specific time frame, after which the appropriate measures will be applied,” he added. (Tribune)