Masari laments state of education in Katsina
….says, 58,000 out of 250,000 passed WAEC, NECO in 3 years
Governor Aminu Bello Masari has lamented the state of education in Katsina state Monday, warning that a lot needed to be done in order to salvage the situation.
The Governor decried that, out of 250,000 students presented for WAEC and NECO exams between 2011 and 2013, only 58,000 made five credits, including English and Mathematics.
Speaking during a Town Hall meeting with Katsina state indigenes resident in Kaduna, the governor lamented that education used to occupy a pride of place amongst Katsina people but the situation has now changed for the worse.
‘’There is no position in Nigeria that a Katsina indigene has not occupied. We are the only state that has produced the presidency of Nigeria three times. This is a foundation that was built by our parents but before our own eyes, we have left it to deteriorate,’’ Masari said.
According to the governor, the situation is not peculiar to Katsina state alone but the whole of Northwest.
‘’Every survey or study that has been carried out by development partners or federal ministry of education show that the North West is the most backward in education and that is where poverty is the most severe,’’ he said, adding that ‘’the situation didn’t start now, it is as a result of past neglect.’’
Governor Masari said that the highest that Katsina state has recorded in WAEC or NECO exams is 11%, that means those that have five credits, including English and Mathematics.
Masari clarified that the 11% score is not limited to residents of Katsina state alone but all Katsina indigenes throughout the country. ‘’From 2011 to 2013, we have presented 250,000 candidates for WAEC and NECO out of which only 58,000 got five credits that comprise English and Mathematics,’’ he added.
‘’When we removed students in private schools in Katsina state and our indigenes that sat for the external exams in other states, the number of students who got five credits, including English and Mathematics in public schools which government is running is about 340 to 500 students,’’ he added.
The governor reiterated that 95% of Katsina indigenes live in the state, adding that if that percentage can only produce less than 5000 students who are eligible go to tertiary institutions, then there is a big problem.
Governor Masari said that, his administration has set up a committee that visited all the primary and secondary schools in Katsina State and the committee did a head count. He said that, there was a great disparity between what was on ground and the figures in the register.
‘’What the committee found in the register is that there are 1.2 million pupils in primary schools but when it conducted a head count, the committee counted only 728,000. In secondary schools, it saw that 378, 000 students were on the register but only 328, 000 were actually on ground,’’ he added.
Masari recalled that UNICEF and federal ministry of education finished a survey in 2013. ‘’They found out that there are 80% of out of school children in all the states in the North West. Only 20% are attending primary schools. In contrast, southern states up to Kogi state have enrolment rate of 80%, ‘’ he said.
According to him, the same UNICEF and DFID conducted another survey in the North West where they interviewed and assessed primary school teachers. ‘’Most of them couldn’t pass the exams of the primary four pupils that they were teaching,‘’ Masari said.
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