Gana Lawal Ahmed.”Thinking people are more able to play a part in the wider life of society. Democracy needs people who are not able to think but who are also knowledgeable about areas of social and political life. Only by having a thinking and educated populace can a democratic society be achieved”. (Jarvis, 1983).The above statement serves as an expose to the bold step taken by His Excellency, Engr. Abdullahi Sule(Barayan Lafia) of Nasarawa state as far as development in the education sector is concerned.The place of education in our March towards sustainable development cannot be overemphasized. As a matter of fact, education can best be described as the most important prerequisite for development in all facets of human endeavor. It is the everlasting legacy which every parent hopes to bequeath to their children. It also remains the undisputable process through which a person could be developed into a useful citizen in any given society.In this wise,the present administration of His Excellency, Engr. Abdullahi Sule,would go down in our democratic history as one that positively changed the face of primary and secondary schools education in the state.It would be recalled that on his assumption of office ,the Governor crafted a 14 point Agenda as its blue print for socio – economic and political transformation of Nasarawa state. Education is the corner stone of this agenda. This explains why the administration has continued to strive to provide qualitative and affordable educational opportunities, particularly for the youths at all levels through progressive and result- oriented policies and programmes.Since the onset of this administration, Governor Sule expressed concern over the facilities and infrastructures in public schools and so,quickly stressed the need to address same in order to give room for quality education, to enable our children compete favorably with their peers anywhere in the world. He did this through the immediate released of N 2.7 billion as redemption of the backlog of the state government’s counterpart contribution to the Universal Basic Education Commission for the period 2016 2017 and 2018 to access N5.4 billion. Under the supervision of the Nasarawa state universal basic education board, Executive Chairman, Hon. Muhammad Musa Dan’azimi ( Barayan Daddare).This is a deliberate move in order to restore confidence in order to elicit and garner support for this sector . Over N 100 million was also released immediately to settle outstanding scholarship allowances due to our students in institutions of higher learning within and outside the country. Also,settled contractual liabilities in this sector.In order for the state to contribute its quota towards regaining the lost glory ( quality) of education in Nigeria and Nasarawa State in particular, Governor Sule embarked on a holistic transformation of the sector, when he flagged off the construction of a block of 4 classrooms, 2 offices,toilets and solar powered water system each in Mararaban Gongo in Wamba, Mahanga community in Awe, Kokona and lafia.Similarly,over 2,000 engagement teachers were absorbed into the state civil service in order to address the problem of acute shortage of teachers. His Excellency, further approved and directed for the recruitment of additional 2,000 in the state to further improve upon the staffing situation in our schools.Another landmark achievement of the present administration in the state is the massive rehabilitation, renovation and upgrading of facilities in primary and junior secondary schools throughout the state.In order to ensure effective management of schools in the state and in keeping with the spirit of ” Education for All is the Responsibility of All”. Governor Sule has continual encourage the establishment of School Based Management Committee for all primary and post- primary institutions which comprise Teachers Association, Youths and Women leaders, Religious leaders, Parents Teachers Association, and other prominent sons and daughters of the schools immediate communities. They will advise,guide and assist school authorities in the areas of, school enrollment and attendance, welfare of teachers, discipline of students, school security, as well as provision and improvement of facilities and infrastructures.Thus, the present democratic dispensation in the state under the able leadership of His Excellency, Engr. Abdullahi A. Sule deserves commendation for its commitment to education without whose support education in Nasarawa State would not have seen the light of the day.Of course,the list is inexhaustive. The most important thing however is for citizens and the people of Nasarawa state to appreciate and understand that changing the face of primary and secondary schools education in the state is a major breakthrough and an investment for a guaranteed future for our children and the nation at large.
After all ” Education for All is the Responsibility of All”.Gana Lawal Ahmed, is a Public Relations Officer, Nasarawa State Universal Basic Education Board.