Former Speaker, Borno state House of Assembly, and many times education commissioner, Musa Inuwa Kubo, has lent his voice on the need for a multi-sectoral and all-inclusive approaches to tackling the challenges Borno state faces in the areas of education.
Mr Kubo, a seasoned teacher, said though the mega school projects of the past and present governments of Borno state are highly commendable, he, however, worried that the state may not get out of the woods in terms of education development unless other aspects of child education are deployed to match the physical efforts.
Mr Kubo listed parental supports, attitudinal change, reorganising the education curriculum and reduction of dependence on government for jobs and increase in education funding as part of the ingredients to facilitate sustainable growth and development in the education sector.
The former Commissioner said this when he hosted a team of the Borno state advocacy group on education financing at his farm house in Maiduguri.
The advocacy group who are supported by Plan International and Save the Children, have identified about a dozen notable persons in the state, as Education Champions to drive the advocacy for improved funding in education, and Mr Kubo happens to be one of them.
The advocacy group have worried that though the government of Borno state has over the years budget reasonable funds for education, such efforts have not been backed by attendant release for implementation.
Accepting to take a lead role in calling for addressing the gaps in education funding, Mr Kubo said government and spirited individuals also have to come in and support the ongoing efforts of the state government.
“There is no doubts that our amiable governor, Professor Engineer Babagana Zulum is doing very well in addressing the gaps in the area of education infrastructure, but that policy can only succeed if we all can lend him our hands of support,” he said.
“We must also factor in the roles parents too can play in the areas of enrollment and ensuring that a child remains in school to the end. Parents must see schools as places where a child’s character is moulded and not where kids are dumped in order for the parents to take a rest. What I mean is parents should also invest more interest in how their children. Are fairing in school and on how the school system are run.
He also said parents must depart from the attitude of forcing their ward’s to study particular professional causes at the expense of the children’s interests.
“We have to respect their choices and abilities of either becoming a lawyer, an engineer, a historian or a farmer and even a mechanic.
“Parents have to be thinking away from “my son son getting a first class or being a doctor or engineer”, to also calling for an educational system that equips the children with extra skills, so that even when government does not provide them with jobs, they can be able to start up something on their own!”
“Our today’s educational system has to be tailored towards our contemporary global needs and temperament.”
Speaking on the areas of budgeting and the need for requisite releases by the government, the former lawmaker said, the problems of education in Borno is not limited to the poor release of budgets.
“A lot of efforts have been put in place by successive governments in the areas of budgeting but the releases has not been affected as expected. But in essence the problems are not been all about the release, because if you quantum of monies that are even released out of the ” insignificant percentage are put into proper use, a lot would be achieved. Part of the money that is budgeted would be released but implementation of the budget as expected, by following it to its logical conclusion to achieve the desired objective is another challenge.
The former education commissioner agreed that going by the UN ratings on education development of states in Nigeria, “Borno state is certainly backward and has been struggling with that long even before the insurgency. “
He said despite the setbacks, he is still encouraged by the number of enrolment of children into public school.
“On a regular school day, when you go out early in the morning and see the number of children going to both public and private school, you would be happy to appreciate that there is an effort on the side of government and private individuals to promote learning.
“But the major problem that we have is that there is a need for proper coordination in the education sector. School should be run by people who have a passion for imparting knowledge and moulding of good character and not by people who lack jobs in other sectors.”