By Umar Sani Yakubu
“In a few weeks from now, we shall be done with the junior secondary school certificate examination, and from then on, I am done with Western education.”
Above is what my ears brought to me as it was uttered in the Hausa language after I walked past some probably junior secondary school students in the Bauchi metropolis.
This statement by a young lad disturbed me. It proves to me how true it is that Bauchi State is counted as one of the states in the country with a high rate of out-of-school children.
However, proving the statistic that Bauchi State forms part of the state in Nigeria with a high rate of out-of-school children, this development has led to lots of criticism from concerned citizens as to why the state would join such a demeaning but objective reality. Of course, some critics blame it on the decade-long insurgency ongoing in the Northeast, where the state emerges. While some blame the root cause on parents’ lackadaisical attitude in enrolling the children in school, political opponents of the government accuse it of not providing the needed atmosphere for learning.
Albeit, whatever it is that led our dear state into such a situation, the state government must be at its feet to make sure things are done well.
Relatively, it was against that backdrop that I was amazed at the government’s show of inattentiveness to the course in encouraging the students to do better in their studies. The reason I point that out is the recent remarkable performance of some students who emerged from and represented the state in a national competition and were victorious above all the remaining participating states in the country.
Those students have been celebrated and recognised by many concerned individuals in Bauchi State and beyond; unfortunately, the state government has yet to say a word about the development.
Is it this way that the government plans to make their youngsters remain on the course of changing the blackmailing narratives?
I don’t believe all is right. Of course, something must be wrong somewhere.
Suffice it to say, we are all witnesses to when the government in the state recognised and rewarded mere social media actors, etc. If political social media actors can be recognised and even rewarded, why not a best-performing student who earned respect not only for themselves and the school but also for the state in the eyes of the world?
These students from Government College (Special School) Toro who participated in the recent National Inter-secondary Schools Quiz competition organised by the Raw Materials Research and Development Council and came out first must be recognised and celebrated by every serious state government where they emerged, especially as they are trained in a government-owned school as opposed to any proud private schools.
As Bauchi State is in a dangerous situation as its youth quit education for other heinous acts like Sara Suka, the state government must be reminded that giving such recognition and even awarding scholarships is key to encouraging children to see the light in the path of their education.
Consequently, celebrating students of the state with remarkable performance in school and even rewarding them with scholarships stands to draw the attention of the wayward to education and encourage those already in the system to put in more effort.
Finally, with the confidence I have in the present administration of His Excellency Governor Bala Abdulkadir Muhammed, I hope those best brains from Government College Toro will be identified and rewarded for making the state proud in the aforesaid competition.
Gone were the days in Bauchi when international scholarships were given to the best brains, many of whom are now professionals in their respective careers.
Sani is a concerned citizen from Bauchi State and can be reached at email@example.com
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