Barewa Old Boys Urge Alma Mater Groups To Contribute to Improving Nigeria's Education System

Barewa Old Boys Urge Alma Mater Groups To Contribute to Improving Nigeria's Education System

  • Alma mater groups across the country have been urged to contribute to revamping the education system in Nigeria
  • The call was made by the secretary-general of the Barewa Old Boys' Association, Haroun Audu during an interaction session with journalists
  • According to Audu, it is important for these groups to pay attention to some of the activities and welfare of teachers in their former institutions

With the rapid decay in Nigeria's education system and the growing need exhibited by many to seek quality education outside the shows of the country, the Barewa Old Boys' Association (BOBA) has called for repositioning Alma groups.

Haroun Audu, the secretary-general of the association - alumni of the age-long boarding schools, Barewa College Zaria, Kaduna state - said education has suffered in Nigeria and alma mater groups need to pay attention to things happening in the system.

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Barewa College Zaria is the alma mater of some notable Nigerians including the Sultan of Sokoto, Sa'ad Abubakar III, five Nigerian presidents - head of states inclusive - Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna state, former ministers, chief justices of Nigeria among many others.

Barewa Old Boys Association, Education in Nigeria, Kaduna state, Nasir El-Rufai, Out-of-school children
Haroun said old students' associations should pay attention to some of the activities in their alma mater. Photo: Haroun Audu
Source: UGC

For Audu Nigerians can contribute to the improvement of the quality of education in Nigeria bu giving back to the alma mater.

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Speaking during an interaction with journalists in Abuja, Audu decried the high number of out-of-school children, especially in the northern part of the country.

In January 2022, the United Nations International Children's Fund (UNICEF) warned that Nigeria's education system would be facing an increased crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The international agency said that at least 10.5 million children are out of school in Nigeria - the highest rate in the world and a full one-third of Nigerian children are not in school while one in five out-of-school children in the world is Nigerian.

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Continuing Audu said the high number of children scattered on the streets across the country is an impending doom about to happen.

Need to up-skill Nigerian youths

Also admitting that there is a need to up-skill and reskill young Nigerians, Audu said that many youths across the country are poorly skilled.

He said:

“Education has suffered in this country as a result, and we see (that) in the kind of graduates that we are producing today in public schools"

According to Audu, these young people find it difficult to navigate through their various and competitive work environments.

His words:

“Many of these young ones, my personal experience as an employer of labour is; they need to be re-skilled.
"They come to you like all kinds of graduates from universities, from polytechnics, colleges of education, public and private, believe me, many of them are struggling, they need a certain type of skills. And there comes the role of platforms like the Barewa Old boys."

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Recounting the various disagreements between the Nigerian government and various unions across institutions in the country including the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Audu said the state of education in Nigeria is depressing,

He added that the distortions in the agreements between the federal government and teachers, lecturers and other non-academic staff have continued to give rise to some of the major challenges faced by Nigeria's academic system.

Further speaking, Audu said the legislature missed an opportunity to address some of the challenges in the system when lawmakers vehemently rejected the bill seeking to stop lawmakers from sending the children and wards abroad for education.

Noting that while no one should legislate when and the kind of education people want for their children, Audu said that the lawmakers could have used the opportunity to make a pronouncement that would steer Nigeria's academic system towards the right direction.

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He said:

"It is a shame that when they were presented with the moment to rise up in the occasion, they outrightly threw out the occasion without making a forceful pronouncement.”

He added that BOBA has continued to find ways to improve the quality of education in their alma mater including contributing to the welfare and training and retraining of teachers in Barewa College.

Also commending the efforts of the Kaduna state governor Nasir El-Rufai towards improving education in the state, Audu said the quality of teachers in Kaduna have remained top on the list for the state government.

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The minister who appeared to be uncomfortable with the position of the students after their president’s speech staged a walk-out.

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The industrial strike action by the ASUU had resulted in a meeting between the president and Chris Ngige.

The minister of labour and employment said lecturers have been paid a total of N97.2 billion since the agreement with ASUU.

Ngige added that the Nigerian government is not opposed to the payment of good salaries and emoluments to university lecturers.


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