Gov Bala Mohammed’s Meritorious Educational Turnaround In Bauchi State

Governor Bala Mohammed

Governor Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed of Bauchi State, who came into office on May 29, 2019, has midwifed the dawn of a new era on education in the state. Bauchi’s all-round glory especially in education got dimmer by poor governance.

The decay in the education sector as witnessed by Gov. Bala Mohammed in May 2019 was enormous. In WAEC exams, of the 36 states in the country, Bauchi State consistently maintained the 31st position. Of every 100 children that enrolled in primary school in the state, only three (3 per cent) reached tertiary level of education.

It was heartbreaking to possess a mind- boggling population of 1.3 million out- of- school pupils, the highest number in the country. It was draining to read up reports of high rate of truancy among staff and pupils. Dilapidated school buildings and other educational infrastructure stared at the government everyday challenging their will to find a way. And above all, a N612-million-unpaid WAEC registration had to be cleared.

But the present administration of Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed has boldly confronted these daunting challenges by introducing disruptive changes aimed at lifting the educational system from its comatose state to a vibrant catalyst social transformation and economic prosperity. The Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed’s administration has been unparalleled in taking concrete measures towards revitalizing education in Bauchi State. In monetary terms, the administration has injected over N8.8 billion into the educational sector for the construction, renovation and upgrading of schools as well as the provision of furniture and teaching aids.

Within the last two years, over 300 classrooms were built in schools across the 20 Local Governments of the state while many others were renovated.

Among the measures introduced by Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed’s government, the following deserve special mention:

INFRASTRUCTURE:

2019:
1. Construction of 115 two blocks of classrooms across the state.

2. Renovation of 222 classrooms, office stores across the state.

3. Construction of 15 four pits VIP toilets in schools.

4. Construction of 40 hand pump fitted water boreholes.

5. Procurement of 11, 950 primary pupils furniture.

6. Procurement of 5,500 JSS students furniture.

7. Procurement of 698 teachers’ furniture.

8. Procurement of 698 magnetic white boards.

9.. Construction of three (3) number general houses in Miri.

10) The sum of N3 billion was expended in the projects where the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) paid half of the money and UBEC also paid half under its intervention.

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Projects competed in 2020:
11. Construction of 238 classrooms.

12. Construction of 21 four pits toilets in schools.

13. Drilling of 39 hand pump boreholes.

14. Renovation of 406 classrooms across the state.

15. Procurement of 16,200 furniture for primary, JSS students across the state.

16. Procurement of 648 teachers’ furniture.

17. Procurement of 618 furniture for nursery schools.

18. MODEL SCHOOLS in Dagauda, Itas Gadau, Duguri have been built by the state government in collaboration with UBEC.

19. Government Science Secondary School Zaki, Government Girls Secondary School Ganjuwa which had dilapidated structures underwent total overhaul.

20. In addition, 40, 000 copies of textbooks and desktop computers were procured and distributed to all secondary schools in the state.

21. Provision of boarding materials like mattresses and beds to some schools

22. Improved boarding facilities—water and electricity—in boarding schools (ongoing)

23. Supply of dining hall furniture for the first time in decades in boarding schools (ongoing)

24. Payment of JAMB registration for 3,812 SS3 Students.

POLICIES:

25. Affordable Fees of N700/ child per year to ensure that poverty does not bar children from schools and improves school enrolment,

26. School feeding was initiated in order to improve the retention of students in our boarding schools. The government introduced a mechanism that ensures that today, every boarding child is fed three square meals every day. Feeding monitors have been employed to follow the food wherever it goes until the child is fed.

27. Fingerprint terminals were introduced to give permanence to the measures taken to curb students and staff truancy. The administration introduced the fingerprint terminal in offices and schools under the ministry of education. This has given an accurate data of staff attendance and is a potent tool in combating the insidious malaise of ghost workers.

28. Merit Based System: In recognition of its capacity to promote competition and engender excellence, from day one, the Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed’s government stated its commitment to MERIT as a cornerstone of its education policy. In this regard, it is important to place on record that the controversy over WAEC registration arose because some detractors decided to politicize the administration’s insistence to stick to the mock exams requirement before it can sponsor any prospective candidate as practised in other states.

29. Checked extortion of parents and students

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30.. Had to effect improved teacher attendance

31. Had to effect prompt resumption of students to schools

32. Had to reinstate school routine in boarding schools

33. Effective transparent direct feeding and higher expenditure of up to N19,000/child/month in contrast to previous N2,700 rate which enabled three square meals to boarding students

34. Prudent management of resources that cut expenditures sometimes by up to 75%

35 Debt-free management of Ministry of Education and schools

36. Conversion of Boarding schools to Merit schools

37. Zero-hunger policy in boarding schools

38. Ban on bullying in schools

39. Cashless policy in all transactions in the Education Ministry

40. Indexing of all students

41. Harmonized scheme of work

42. BECE-100 Index for the best 100 Junior Secondary Schools in the state

43. Dual school system where boarding schools host days students as well

44. Admission on merit into SS1

45. Reinstating repeat policy

46. Adoption of phonics

47. Reclaiming of public schools from private users

48. Regulating of private higher institutions (ongoing)

49 Performance-based promotion of staff

50. Reward and punishment

51. Centralised admissions into schools

52. Transfer of College of Agriculture to BASUG (ongoing)

53. Trimming of exchange students

54. Northeast Education Council

55. Adoption of Optical Mark Recognition for marking BECE-MCQ papers

56. Online transmission of admissions and examination results

57. Compilation of credible nominal role for adoption on new payroll platform

58. Cordial relationship with teachers (ASUSS) and Principals’ unions (ANCOPS), PTA, etc.

59. Successful interphase with development partners and NGOs

60. Successful close-out of SEPIP

61. State Education Account

62 Renaming BASUG as Sa’adu Zungur University, Gadau

63. Conduct of aptitude test for UNESCO/SUBEB prospective teachers

64. Public enlightenment on radio and social media on policies and events

PROGRAMS/FUTURE PROJECTIONS:-

65. Promotion of 3,800 teachers, many of whom were long overdue (ongoing).

66. Rationalization of teachers (ongoing)

67. Recall, resumption and sanctioning of absentee teachers

68. Biometric school and lesson attendance (now suspended due to COVID-19)

69. Re-enactment of civil service training procedure

70. Mass Digital Literacy Project

71. Review of Education Law

72. Building Northeast Education Council Secretariat

73. Regulate Private Schools

74. Annual sports competition

75. Annual school quiz

76.. Maintenance Engineering Unit

77. Private Schools Unit

78. NIN registration for all secondary school students

79. Website

80. Confidence building in boarding schools

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