Former Governor of Niger State, Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu, yesterday said that part of the challenges facing the education sector in the country is the scrapping of Teachers’ Training Colleges (TTCs) that were producing Grade Two teachers then It will be recalled that the National Policy on Education, which was published in 1977 indicated the desire to have the National Certificate of Education (NCE) as the minimum qualification in the teaching profession in the country, this accoridng to the former governor had not answered the many questions bedeviling the sector till date.
Aliyu, who was the special guest speaker at the 22nd Convocation and Golden Jubilee Celebration of the Shehu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto, said the problems in Nigeria education system was not about policy making, but that of implementation. While speaking on the topic: “The Place of Colleges of Education in the Development of Nigeria”, Aliyu said it had become imperative, considering the numerous challenges that bedeviled the education sector, to have another look at the entire system.
“This is exacerbated by the cancellation of TTCs, producing Grade Two teachers to fill the lowest cadre in the teaching profession. “Another issue causing a setback in the education sector is that most of the teachers were yet to go digital in line with global best practices.
This is to ensure retention of the best teachers to manage the sector, adding that many in the teacing profession are not Information Communication Technology (ICT) compliant.”
Furthermore, he said: “For Colleges of Education to take their proper place in the development of Nigeria; teachers must get proper recognition, education must be seen as a sinequa- non, the foundation for quality manpower development, creator of wealth, the conveyor of successes in life and as well, service to humanity.”
The former governor regreted that lack of formulation of proper education policies befitting Nigeria also gave rise to the discordant tunes in the sector between the northern and southern part of the country giving rise to jettisoning of Western education by some misguided elements.
Accordingly, he said: “Through education remained stunted in the north with the propaganda that Western education was ‘Haram’ or ‘Forbidden’ as being propagated by the notorious islamic extremist group, Boko-Haram, I encourage northern governors to intensify efforts at bridging the disparity between the region and their southern counterpart.
“Northern states have virtually been devastated by insecurity; North-East may take many years to recover from the activities of the notorious Boko Haram that has been on for more than eleven years, killing and maiming innocent lives, causing refugee problems and as well Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) with villages and towns deserted”.
Aliyu, who said he was optimistic that with sound education, most of the challenges of the north could be surmounted, argued that; “When you look at what is happening in the states of Katsina, Zamfara, Sokoto and Kaduna in the North- West, where armed bandits and kidnappers hold sway, then you know we are in big trouble, farming opportunities stunted, markets deserted and travelling almost impossible.
“The Abuja-Kaduna- Zaria road, Zaria-Gusau, Zaria-Katsina have now become dangerous to ply, some years back people enjoyed more night travel, but all these have become almost impossible today. Some of us travelled on motorcycles to our hometowns on holidays but all these are no longer possible due to insecurity.
“The worst hit at the moment is the North-Central states, including Niger State, which suffers from the spillover of Zamfara kidnapping and armed banditry activities, the bandits now pick people from their homes.”