Gombe Committed to Transforming Education​, Says Governor

Segun Awofadeji

Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya has reiterated his administration’s commitment to improving the quality of education in Gombe.

He stated this as Gombe marked the International Day of Education, pledging that his government would not relent until the goal of repositioning the education sector for effective and efficient service delivery is achieved.​

“When we came into office on May 29, 2019, I made it categorically clear that the present state of the Education sector in Gombe State was totally unacceptable. We met an education system that was ravaged by inadequate and decayed infrastructure, a large number of out-of-school children, an absence of instructional materials and basic facilities, as well as a teaching workforce that was poorly trained and ill-motivated,” stated the Gombe governor. “For years, Gombe State continued to sit at the bottom of the National Education rankings like the National Common Entrance Examination the WAEC or NECO.”

The declaration of a state of emergency in education in Gombe by the governor reportedly saw a sudden departure from the prism of a narrow window dressing to a broad and holistic approach towards addressing the numerous challenges confronting the sector, especially at the basic level, which is the most critical stage in human development.

“Through concerted efforts, we declared a state of emergency in the education sector and deployed a multi-disciplinary approach to deal with our educational challenges. On the one hand, we rolled out the Better Education Service Delivery for All (BESDA) project in order to mop up out-of-school children and increase basic literacy and numeracy. On the other hand, we ramped up investment in school infrastructure by renovating over 400 schools through the effort of the State Universal Basic Education Board(SUBEB) in conjunction with the Universal Basic Education Commission(UBEC),” explained the Gombe governor.

During​ the opening ceremony of the 36th round of the National Qur’an Recitation Competition held in Bàuchi, Yahaya stressed the importance of both religious and western education in the quest to promote societal growth and development.​ ​​

Furthermore, the Gombe State Executive Council presided over by Yahaya recently approved the payment of external examination fees for 23,680 final year students of secondary schools across the state.​ The State Executive Council also expeditiously granted​ N435,272,900 for the payment of WAEC, NABTEB and NBAIS examination charges.​

The Gombe government signed a public-private partnership (PPP) agreement with the Lincoln University College of Malaysia to prop up academic activities at the Gombe State University of Science and Technology Kumo, which was established and abandoned by the immediate past administration in the state.​

While assessing the present administration’s performance in the education sector, THISDAY checks revealed that​ of the campaign promises for the education sector, the administration was able to fully deliver five while the remaining four are ongoing, with appreciable progress.​

For instance, on teachers training which is the sine qua non to effective teaching and learning, the administration of Governor Inuwa Yahaya has established a state-of-the-art Teacher Resource Centre in Kwami, which is currently providing regular comprehensive training to teachers across the state while on free and compulsory education, the Gombe government​ through the BESDA has since mopped up over 300,000 out of School children and established 676 non-formal girl- child and Almajiri learning centres.​

In addition, during this period under review, the government constructed and renovated and fully equipped 584 classrooms in 156 schools across the state. It provided over 30,000 students with furniture in various schools and informal learning centres.​ The Yahaya administration also drilled boreholes and built VIP toilets in selected schools across the 11 Local Government Areas of the State. This is in addition to the systematic renovation and upgrade of five legacy schools to special schools.​

Similarly, in the last few years of the administration of Yahaya, the education sector has seen an increase in budgetary allocation by more than 50 per cent. This has led to an improved learning outcome, as evidenced in the rapid improvement in students’ performance, especially in the 2020 and 2021 national examinations.​

The payment of bursary to students of Gombe origin is another area in which the Yahaya government has been giving adequate attention. To this day, the administration of Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya has paid over N119 million in student bursary.

It is, therefore, not a coincidence that the education sector in Gombe is receiving so much attention and face-lift. The government places a high premium​ on developing the education sector to enviable heights and is undoubtedly ready to shore up​ productivity to expedite general performance.

Describing education as the cradle upon which development indices are measured, the governor, at a stakeholders engagement in the state capital, recently assured that his administration would continue to take measures that will address all gaps and challenges bedevilling the sector.​

“Our government would not relent in its efforts at ensuring that our youths are given qualitative education to enable them to excel in all their endeavours. This is part of our vision to provide sound education to our teeming youths for productive and capital development,” said the Gombe governor.

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