When and where were you born?
I was born in 1957 in Yakasai local government area of Kano State.
Which institutions/schools did you attend?
I had my primary education in Tudun Wada Special Primary School; from there I proceeded to Kaduna Teachers College where I got my Grade Two Teachers Certificate in 1975. I came back to Kano and attended the Advanced Teachers College, now Federal College of Education (FCE), Kano, where I bagged my first degree. I also had my Bachelor of Education (B.Ed) programme, where I studied Social Studies. We were the second set to start the B.Ed programme at the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria.
Afterwards I observed the compulsory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme and was posted to serve at Government Girls Secondary School (GGSS), Kura, in 1979.
When did you start work and where did you work?
I started work after my NYSC. The principal of GGSS, Kura, was highly impressed with our performance during our service year so she retained us. The school was under the Kano State Ministry of Education. So, that was technically my first appointment.
After I was appointed as a classroom teacher, my promotion was quite rapid, I moved from being an ordinary classroom teacher to principal.
We did our speech and prize giving day and performed excellently well. I was a member of the organising committee set up by the principal and director of school. The former secretary to the state government (SSG) was one of the invited guests and he was so impressed with our performance.
So, after the speech and prize giving day, he sent a message to the principal that he wanted to see me, and that marked the beginning of my promotion because the ministry wanted to establish about five Junior Secondary Schools (JSS) for trial within that period.
Shortly after the programme, the director of school said I would be promoted to a principal to head one of the newly established JSS in Tudun Wadan Dan Kade.
It was a beautiful school and the type of education we had then was very qualitative. We had enough teaching materials and all the needed equipment; we had a phone to communicate with people in the city because Tudun Wadan Dan Kade was very far from the city.
They also made sure we had enough money to run the school successfully. They gave us monthly allocation which was so much we couldn’t even finish it, so, we returned the unspent funds. All I can say was the quality of education then was very standard with all the needed resources to make it qualitative.
What challenges did you face in your work life?
In fact, it was not easy at all, being a woman, but I had the support of my family. My husband and parents supported me so I didn’t face much problems/challenges. Moreover, even the community accepted me and we all worked together.
Similarly, the DPO and other regulatory bodies in Tudun Wada carried me along. The zonal officer, Malam Abdu Dutse, was a very good, intelligent, smart and kind man; he didn’t give us headache at all. The ministry officials also assisted greatly to get the school on good pedestal, they gave us whatever we requested for to do the job, because we all had the passion for educational development. That was how we were able to succeed in running the school.
What was the nature of the educational system in the good old days?
Back then, the students enjoyed free education. They were given free uniforms, pocket money or I should say transport money. When the term ends and they were going home for holidays, the ministry sent their allocation for transport money and we gave it to them. They had the list of all the students and their local governments. In fact, as a female school the students were given outing wrappers. The ministry provided all the required books and we had contractors, who supplied decent food in good time. In summary, education then was not just better but excellent.
Why did you choose the profession you practiced, was it deliberate or accidental?
No, it was God’s will. It was destined. I even gained admission into ABU, Zaria to study Arts because that was my area of specialization in my Grade 2. I was very good in Arts. So, I was given admission to pursue a Diploma in Arts but I changed my course again and went back to NCE. One of our sisters was pursuing her NCE programme in the Advanced Teachers College and she said I should come and join her there which I did.
I went there and was given admission, and I followed the line. You know, I did Grade 2 earlier, I also gained admission in Soba but I didn’t go rather I opted to go to teacher’s college. So, it was destiny. I liked and I enjoyed it. I do not regret my choice at all. I like the profession.
What is or are your outstanding achievement(s) as a teacher?
I was one of the female teachers in the ministry’s employ that went round all the 10 zonal offices, (now 14), to work in the local governments. I started with Kura; I was there as a teacher, then I went to Tudun Wada Dankade as a principal; I proceeded to Gezawa as a principal. I stayed in Jogana as vice principal, I stayed in Dambatta as vice, I worked in DanZabuwa twice, all as principal, and I stayed in Kiru as vice principal. I also stayed in Kabo as vice principal, I stayed in Yar’Gaya as a principal, and I taught in Airport Commercial College, Kano, and I worked in Kano Educational Resource Department (KRD) as inspector. I was then transferred to the headquarters as assistant director, Women Education. From there again, I joined an intervention programme, Community Resource Centre (CRC), between the Education Trust Fund (ETF) and the Ministry of Education.
A centre was established along Gandun Albasa just close to KRD and we were the pioneer staff there. I was posted there along with some staff as the deputy director administration. We had remedial programmes in the school for dropouts and those unable to make up their papers. we had tailoring department, photography and video coverage. We had so many workshops and an auditorium that was leased out to people for their activities. The ministry also used the venue for their activities/events. The centre was for the Northwest Zone but the people of Kano benefited more so many of our alumni from that programme are now professional engineers and pilots. Many of them were given scholarships to study abroad.
How would you compare discipline in the system now and then?
The moral upbringing is ruined in the present society. Let me say during our days as students and the time we spent as teachers, when compared to what obtains today, I will say they are parallel. You know parallels don’t meet, so they too don’t have any meeting point. I don’t think the education we had in the past and today will ever meet again, it has collapsed. The education system has collapsed and is still collapsing. In those days when we were in school you don’t go to your principal. Then, we feared and respected our seniors, and there was nothing like bullying. But things have changed today, parents are now afraid of their children. They cannot even talk to their children. The children have now turned into the parents and the parents are now the children. As a principal or teacher, you are passing by, a student would see you and pass by you but in those days, you could not do that out of respect. There was respect and we earned respect. Even the students in the senior cadre earned respect. So, you can’t compare the two instances in terms of discipline. Maybe we have changed today and have gone back to the age of ignorance. They don’t have education. Education without moral upbringing is no education.
What would you like seen sustained in the education sector?
This is a task, a great one. It has to start from the top, our government must have to change their leadership style. We, the followers, must have to be loyal and obedient. We have to obey the government, the rules and regulations, and respect law and order. Parents must work with the government and schools to overhaul the education system because there is no motivation and even the learners themselves are frustrated.
Advice to government?
Government should provide jobs; government should build more schools, recruit quality teachers and provide teaching materials, and requisite equipment for running the schools because I don’t know what will happen if we continue at this rate. That is why I said education today as compared to the past is parallel. If not adjusted and corrected, only God knows what will happen in the future.