Insecurity, cause of low school enrolment in Northern states – NUT

The Nigerian Union of Teachers has tasked governors of the states in the North on the provision of security for pupils in schools across the region.

The NUT argued that insecurity in some states in the region, especially in the North East had been responsible for the low enrolment in schools and the recent low registration of pupils for the 2018 National Common Entrance Examination.

The Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, had recently said that the Federal Government was worried about the low number of candidates seeking admission into its 104 colleges across the country, disclosing that only 28 candidates from Zamfara State registered for the common entrance examination with low numbers also recorded in Taraba and Kebbi states.

But the NUT National President, Comrade Michael Alogba Olukoya, told our correspondent that drastic actions should be taken by the various state governments against the security challenges now threatening education in the country.

Olukoya said, ”If our leaders could be honest with the statistics they dangle before the public; if in the entire Zamfara State only 28 pupils will apply for common entrance to their schools, If the statistics can be so in the choice of unity schools, that only 28 parents actually registered their children for the National Common Entrance examination in Zamfara and some other zones, then it shows that  all is not well with our educational system.

“It means that the Federal Government and state governments must buckle up so that we don’t begin to lose promising students from that zone. Between you and I, what this development entails is the fact that it is because of the security challenges that our schools have witnessed for some time now, especially the government owned schools in the north. We have recorded cases of several kidnappings, abductions like that of Chibok, Dapchi and Lagos school boys, which is already making people to begin to lose faith. It behoves on all the governors in the northern states to do something urgently.”

Olukoya noted that instead of the state and federal governments to continue to play politics at the expense of education in the country, they should come together by way of regional integration because for the country to move along with other countries in the world, education is key.

“If today, parents or students are not willing to have secondary education from northern states or if today graduates are not willing to undergo their compulsory one year training for their National Youth Service Corps programme in these zones, we don’t need any prophet to tell us that something is fundamentally wrong,” he said.

The NUT president, however, pointed out that the way out would be for the governments of the affected states to urgently meet and embark on aggressive education, mobilisation and sensitization in all schools in the northern zone while adequate security measures should also be put in place.

Olukoya said, “In terms of personnel, they should put armed and trained security personnel that will work round the clock, not the security personnel that will begin to negotiate for release of students because of pecuniary gains.

“I think it is time for totality, I mean totality of commitment on the part of the government and also a time for sincerity of purpose because a country’s education that is being challenged is a bad sign for a country’s growth.”