My Message To Shekarau As Minister Of Education By Rabiu Shamma
New minister education Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau’s reputation precedes him as an achiever in the educational sector before his emergence as governor of Kano State in 2003. He was a former class room Teacher who rose to the pinnacle of his career and became one of the most sought after principals in Kano because of his discipline and dedication to duty. He became the chairman of the umbrella organization of Nigerian principals sometime in 1990s.
His two tenures as governor of Kano from 2003 to 2011 however brought mixed results even with the initial optimism that as a former Teacher, education will receive massive boost in his tenure. Mallam Shekarau who was inaugurated yesterday as the new minister of education in Nigeria recorded some achievements in the area of primary and secondary education especially in terms of infrastructural development.
In the area of tertiary education however, the state owned tertiary institutions experienced some difficulties, infrastructural decay, poor academic staff welfare, and incessant strike actions were the hallmark of his administration. It was an open secret that many colleges were known to conduct lectures under trees during his time.
In 2009/2010 I was part of the struggle then as a student’s leader against the Kano government for their inability to resolve the incessant strike actions by the state owned tertiary institutions. I can vividly recall that protests were organized by us, Aminu Kano College of Islamic and Legal Studies students and Kano State Polytechnic students after we spent nearly a year feeling the brunt of the strike by the Academic Staff of the schools. That strike lingered on until May 2011 when the present administration of Kwankwaso came to power and the strike was resolved in a matter of days! Shekarau even though was a former Teacher himself called the bluff of the lecturers by calling their demands “outrageous”.
My hope and prayer this time around is for the new minister of education Mallam Shekarau to turn a leaf and quickly resolve the present strike action by Academic Staff of Polytechnics and Colleges of Education. I hope that in the next 9 or so months that he will be minister of Education before the tenure of President Goodluck Jonathan ends, Shekarau will usher in monumental development in the educational sector in Nigeria.
Rabiu Shamma is a graduate of Political Science, Bayero University, Kano.
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