Surely, education is synonymous with societal development, economic advancement and it is unambiguously believed to be the best investment in the society. It’s a fact that the absence of this vital aspect of the society often comes with increased level of poverty, gross unemployment, underdevelopment, high rate of social vices; kidnapping, robbery, stealing, raping and communal clashes as end result.
While it provides miraculous and freakish transformational power where it is given room, it thrives and flourishes. Education is accompanied with an impelling rise in the developmental index of such society where peace and justice reign.
Therefore, purposeful governments at all levels seemingly prioritise and focus attention on the provision of education because when the sector is effectively working, people are educated and enlightened, all the other sectors of the economy would equally breathe and exhalant for their survival, surpass it to say, education formed the nucleolus of development and economic amelioration of every society. It’s against this background that, the aspirations and hankerings of every parent and government is inextricably interwoven to have an environment where education is accessible and subcribable for all irrespective of one’s economic status and his proximity to the educational facilities.
It’s interesting to know that the architects and the master builders of the Nigerian nation we’re rightly enjoying; the Sardaunas, the Balewas, the Awolowos, the Ziks and so many of them have accorded the sons and daughters of an ordinary Nigerians free and compulsory education to better their future and strengthen the country. It’s beyond doubt that those who were fortunate to witness that particular epoch, had in different times become leaders in their fields of endeavours. Therefore, states and communities that have earlier invested massively in the education of their sons and daughters, are no doubt that, the most developed and this has also reflected on the progress their states had made due to the intellectual and innovative dispositions of their people.
In contempt of the historic evidence of transformational power of education and its consolidated importance, the sector has been abysmally neglected by some visionless in some states of the federation. The sector received little or no attention while other projects that are considered as conduit of siphoning the treasuries were given preferential and due considerations and the attitude has potent dangers to the societal development by breeding unproductive youths without promising future.
In this part of the country, education has suffered unduly, as a result has kept the region perpetually in the passenger’s seat in every aspects of the Nigerian enterprise. In Gombe State, the destructive effect of the poor state of education could be noticed when ‘Kalare’ thuggery was the only lucrative venture for the vulnerable youths.
But no matter how bad the situation is, there are silent and exceptional few who tend to be different Governor Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo Gombe State has proven and established the truth and genuine of purposeful leadership by playing a hard ball and strong-will game with education. Dankwambo when he assumed the mantle of leadership in Gombe State met the sector in a shambles and gory structure with students sitting on a bare floor or under the trees, teacher training and retraining were utterly neglected, laboratories and libraries had no equipment and basic required books as the shelves were books starved. There is a turn around, suddenly.
In his determination to rescue the state from the hitherto despite and all torn up situation, Gov. Dankwambo declared a state of emergency in education declared a catch phrase; education, education and education, and then any other thing would follow.
Though, the statement at the onset looked like the normal political rhetoric but within a very short period, the whole thing translated into reality with the renovation of virtually all dilapidated structures, as well as building new ones including the international standard model primary schools in most of the local government headquarters, and with nine tsangaya intervention schools across the state with adequate staffing and state of the art of learning facilities.
As secondary schools were not left behind in the whole scheme new blocks of classrooms were constructed, while the old ones were fully renovated and restructured to meet with the modern demand. Science, technical and vocational education were given boost as the Government Science Technical Colleges in Deba, Kwami, Tula, Amada, Nyuwar and Gombe Bye-Pass were equipped with basic laboratory facilities, furniture, hostels inclusive. With education, it can never be enough especially with tertiary education.
There was the establishment of School of Basic and Remedial Studies at Dukku and Kumo, College of Education Billiri, College of Legal and Islamic Studies Nafada, Gombe State Polytechnic Bajoga, and the upgrading of the School of Nursing and Midwifery, through collaborative initiatives with the University of Maiduguri and Maritime Training College Oron in Akwa Ibom State. The state university has an ambition with the intent of intervening in the health needs of the people in the state, so Dankwambo set up the School of Medicine and Pharmaceutical Science in the state university.
Governor Dankwambo who seems not tired, inaugurated the committee for the establishment of the State University of Science and Technology, Gombe State Institute of Journalism, College of Agriculture and Husbandry, College of Accountancy, Institute of Sport and the State University of Science and Technology Kumo, will soon take off following approval by the National Universities Commission (NUC) here is a state where education is first, second and third priority.
– Musa writes from Gombe.