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An open letter to Governor Umaru Tanko Almakura

30 September 2013, 14:21 Esson Bako

Let me start by commending you for the programmes and policies you provided for the state and the zeal and courage you took to reposition the state better than the way you met it despite the security and socio-political chall­enges that greeted the state in recent times.

I also salute you on the steps taken to calm the security challenges facing the state and the pragmatic attention given to urban development, electricity and water supply, agriculture among others. The main aim of my letter is to give the decaying condition of education sector of the state. Education indeed has been described by many as the bedrock of the society. It has also been described as the human right with the immense power to transform. On its foundation rest the corner stone of freedom, democracy and sustainable human reform. Hence, the need to make it priority among the sectors. I have given much of my attention to your educational policies you introduced in the sector especially your recent opening of Ta'al model school in Lafia commissioned by President Goodluck Jonathan.

You also promised to build same structures with modern facilities in all 13 LGAs of the state which work have already began and i can testify to that. Under a healthy situation, an increase in the number of schools should be a welcome idea. Unfortunately, under the present circumstances and events, the existing ones are not being well funded. I also note the decaying and dilapidating primary and secondary schools in the state.

It is highly embarrasing that more than sixtheen years of independence, pupils and students of secondary schools are subjected to learning under the shade of trees. Also, the reasons for mass failures suffered by students at 'O' and 'A' levels annually could be located in the relationship between schools, the government and the society. Government that does not care for youths except on October 1st when a few students are straight jacket to parade in scorching sun cannot expect miracles from them. Geniuses and higher intelligent quotients (IQ) emerge if opportunities exist for youths to tap and utilize their latent talents and resources. Also conditions under which students of higher institutions of the state do their academic work and live are unbearable. The inadequacy of lecture theatres and hostels accomodation does not create a palatable atmosphere for studying. Students rush to secure seats in the lecture theatres. Some receive lectures while standing. The hostels are fast becoming camps where students are packed like sardines. Very good examples are Nasarawa State University keffi, Nasarawa state polytechnic Lafia, College of education Akwanga, College of agriculture Lafia among others. In fact, some departments and faculties have to operate on skeletal basis, since funds for research work and basic facilities are not forth coming. This has resulted to the stoppage of adminsion into the following programmes in Nasarawa state university, keffi, economics, political science, sociology, psychology and civil law. Also observed is the 'I don't care attention' given to the provision of scholarship for the state students. It is embarrasing that the students did not receive scholarships for over six years now. Worry enough was the collection of 2 500 from each students as fee for scholarship form during the Akwe Doma's tenure. After a cangaroo screening, nothing was given to them nor did he return the 2,500 to the applicants after failing to provide the award. This has sparked students to rose against his return in 2011 and gave you all their supports with the hope that you will make them smile. Government is a perpetual succession. Students expected that you will make a difference but in the interim, things get worst even with the appointment of a new executive secretary for the scholarship board. All complains from students fell into deaf ears. This is totally unacceptable and unbearable.

In conclusion, i demand, (a) prompt payment of salaries and improve condition of service for teachers and adequate funding of all established primary and secondary schools across the state to meet modern standard. (b) adequate funding of state higher institutions. Funds should be made directly and promptly to the institutions. (c) better condition of service for both the academic and non academic staff. (d) compulsory and uniform scholarships for all students. (e) prompt payment of such scholarships at the begining of every session. I plead that the above demands should be given urgent attention to save our education from collapsing. Lest, attaining educational development in the state remains a mirage otherwise and exercise in futility.

Aluta continua, victoria ascerta.

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

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