Governor Tanko Al-Makura of Nasarawa State has declared a state of emergency in the state’s education sector.
Mr. Al-Makura made the declaration during a meeting with education experts and community leaders at the Government Girls Secondary School, Garaku, Kokona local government area.
Mr. Al-Makura said the decision became necessary because of the level of decay in the boarding schools across the state.
He expressed his disgust with the situation and promised to make resources available for a conducive learning environment at the school.
He explained that the meeting was also aimed at finding ways of cushioning the effect of the decay and to see what contributions each party concerned could proffer to bridge the gap.
“The meeting became necessary because of what I discovered during my unscheduled visit last week to the school on my way to Abuja. I saw with my eyes that most of the hostels are in state of disrepair without toilet facilities,” the governor said.
“I believe what I saw is the replica of what is obtained in other boarding schools across the state, so whatever decision we take here will also apply to other boarding schools in the state.”
Mr. Al-Makura said the state government would provide critical needs before the end of the year to address areas that need quick intervention.
He said that part of the intervention was to ensure that boarding schools across the state had perimeter fencing for security challenges, as well as upgraded hostels, toilets and dining halls that would make the school environment conducive.
“We will replicate whatever decision we take here in other schools across the three senatorial district such as Government College Keffi, GSS Nasarawa Eggon, GGSS Keana and Obi among other schools in the state. Once you are in a state of emergency their most be a pragmatic approach for quick fix-it,” he said.
He attributed the decay in the educational sector in the state to long negligence and stagnation in the sector. He added that there was no justification for leaders to allow such situation for the next generation.
“50 years before now was far much better than now. We have no justification as leaders to allow such for the next generation to inherit,” he said.
Ado Mohammed, who spoke at the meeting, suggested that the water situation and rehabilitation of the dormitories should be resolved immediately.
The school’s principal, Lydia Saidu, commended the governor and called for the refurbishing of school beds.
“We have 150 beds now, which are not good and not enough because we have 800 students in the school presently,” she disclosed.
Mr. Almakura had, in August, set up a committee headed by the Senior Special Assistant on public affairs, Abdulhamid Kwarra, to give government a way forward on the situation in government schools and also declared free education in secondary schools.
A look around GGSS, Garaku, shows that hostels and toilet facilities in a state of collapse. The surroundings were also overgrown with grass.
Meanwhile, students are scheduled to resume on Monday, September 22.