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The Way Forward: Jigawa and its Declining Education.


-Amir Muhammad Harbo

I am very sure that decapitation is not the cure for headache. If we do not invest in education, we will not reap in it. Therefore, the education system in Jigawa state needs some modifications.

Though the state keeps developing but there are still so many things to improve especially and most importantly on education. I believe that for a state or nation to be developed, changes in education are necessary for political, economic and social development.

In short, education should be our priority! 

However, Jigawa's decline in education, though incipient, is impossible to miss.

Year over year, since from the 90s the quality of this state educational system nosedived and has become totally dysfunctional. Students' performance in public examinations, such as West African Examination Council (WAEC), National Examination Council (NECO) and the Joint Admissions Matriculation Board (JAMB), has been in consistent decline with high failure rates.

It is because of that, as I have said previously, the state is recently ranked with one of the "lowest literacy index (third from the bottom in the WASSCE results for two consecutive years)". Probably, this is the reason why this current government decided not to pay this 2020 WASSCE for its students.

Also on gender education, there is a lack of support of female education in the state.

This is because, according to a Nigeria's gender report in 2014, Jigawa state is among the top states that have Nigeria's worst girl child education and highest illiteracy levels. Is the education declining? Of course yes!

In addition, the number of school aged children who are out of school in the state is increasing always. Government has to do something seriously on this. 

Sad upon sad! 

I am of the strong believe and conviction that in a single generation, we lost our previous set of traditional mores that sublimates inordinate aspirations to the demands of meritocracy. Sadly, we lost all that in a single generation.

I repeat! "If we do not invest in education, we will not reap in education".

I am not talking of providing funds for education but investing funds in education. It is all about investing funds in those key areas that will enhance productivity and success.

When was the last time, this state did any recruitment of teachers, or when last did they conduct retraining exercise for their teachers? 

We have to know that we are in a nation where people obtain certificates without attending class. Did the government care? Probably, No!

These depressing opinions (or facts) of mine and the others which are not mentioned capture the severity of our educational crisis in this state. 

...but "no art in a vacuum". There must be certain factors that are (perhaps) responsible for the declining of the education in the state. 

These are some of the major of them: 

I- Insufficient preparation and coverage of the syllabus by students.

II- Shortage of qualified teachers.

III- Inadequate facilities.

IV- Lack of good school environment.

V- Examination malpractices.

VI- Misguidance, et cetera.

As a matter of fact, we and the government must cultivate work ethics and respect for hard work if we are to succeed as a developed state.

A truth can be found in the logic uttered by the former Minister of Education, Prof Ruqayyatu Rufa’i, who was quoted by the Vanguard Newspapers of December 11, 2012 as saying, “We all know that States have greater role to play in turning round the massive failure in our examinations, especially when viewed from the fact that basic and secondary education are controlled by the states.”

Therefore, no one seem to understand the implication our education deficit has for national development. How can we hope to fare well in an increasingly competitive world with uneducated human capital?


The future is bleak indeed. So, Lamenting the abysmal failure of the education in the state. 

I am thinking of how can we stem this steep decline? 

Succinctly, here are some of my recommendations:

I- The state must devote at least 30% of its GDP on education.

II- All school age children must have access to {free] education.

III- The state must go back to the training and recruitment of committed teachers from the primary school level.

IV- Teachers should go for training and retraining to enhance productivity.

V- Teachers and parents should take their job more seriously.

VI- Students must have proper guidance especially on course selection. 

VII- Certificates should be awarded as an attestation to learning and character.

VIII- The Almajiri system cannot continue to remain in it's present form and direction. It has to be modernised and sponsored. 

IX- The girl child is a special child; educating her is like educating the entire community. This needs special attention.

X- National and international scholarships must be given to undergraduates and graduates students to pursue their education. This can be given by both the government, politicians, and private individuals.

Finally, the government must sincerely commit to education and make an emergency declaration matched by action. 

Importantly, the government must put genuine effort into empowering and monitoring NECO, WAEC and JAMB performance instead of seeking to scrap or merge their functions. These outfits are not the problem, the government is. 

No any state ever record any meaningful change without a vibrant and lively education. Take our neighboring states for example!; they are politically engaged in education. 

If we cannot stem this decline at this level. What of employing our youths after school? Yet, we do not care about our legion of intractable problems. 

Indeed, on education Jigawa needs to rise! 

NB: This was earlier published by Blueprints Newspaper.

Twitter: @amirharbo

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