By Bukola Hameed
Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya has been commended for initiating policies, programmes and projects geared towards development of education in Gombe State.
The commendation was made by His Eminence, the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar during the formal commissioning of Goni Sani Integrated Model Tsangaya School constructed by Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya.
The Sultan thanked the governor for building such a great centre which he said will help greatly in reducing out of school children, not only in Gombe State but the whole of Northern Nigeria.
He said he came to Gombe in solidarity with and support of what Governor Inuwa Yahaya is doing for the advancement of Qur’anic Education “which is part of our religion and history that we could not afford to abandon”.
“Our forefathers promoted Islam through education because education is the catalyst for any development and I am happy governor Inuwa is treading the same path of progress”, he said.
Sultan Abubakar urged the people to make good use of the education center by taking full ownership of the edifice, adding that it is a rare opportunity to have such a centre of education and civilization in one’s domain.
“Let the people do everything possible to preserve the school and it’s facilities, because government alone cannot do it all for you’, he said.
In his address, Governor Inuwa Yahaya described the event as historic, reassuring of his administration’s commitment towards provision of education for all indigenes of Gombe State.
Since the advent of Islam, Gombe has been a city with a long history of qur’anic education; where students from within and outside Nigeria troop to acquire Qur’anic and Islamic education, the process that produced hundreds of thousands of qur’anic and Islamic scholars.
To redeem and uphold this good history and modernize the whole system, we deemed it fit to intervene in tsangaya Schools to provide a more befitting environment for the tsangaya students and scholars”.
He said when he came to power in May 2019, UNICEF statistics showed that Gombe was having about 550, 000 out of school children. This condition was aggravated by the influx of internally displaced persons from the insurgency striken states of Yobe, Borno and Adamawa.
“But that did not scare us, we took it as a challenge and initiated policies and programmes that will help our people and make them better members of the society”.
“In just four months in office, precisely in September, 2019, we joined the league of states that subscribed to the Better Education Service Delivery for All (BESDA) programme to mop up out of school children off our streets”.
“Education is not exclusive to only few among us, it is the right of all people, Almajiris inclusive. We want them to have both Islamic and western education as well as skills that will help them become active members of their society”.
He said even at the peak of COVID-19 pandemic when thousands of Almajiris were repatriated from other states, his government took good care of them by camping and providing them with all the basic facilities to serve their needs.
The governor assured that though BESDA is coming to an end by the end of this year, his government is ready to sustain the programme for the interest of the good people of Gombe State, adding that another five similar tsangaya Schools across the Senatorial zones of the state will be established.
“It is a model to be continued, we will not rest on our oars untill we take education to all nooks and crannies of Gombe the state” he pledged.
He said his government cooperated with National Board for Arabic and Islamic Education, NBAIS to give training to qur’anic teachers and to facilitate proper certification for the tsangaya students.
The school is provided with modern teaching and learning facilities, Mosque, water supply, hostel, toilet facilities, skill acquisition centre among others.
In her welcome address, the Commissioner for Education, Gombe State, Dr. Aishatu Umar Maigari said the mega tsangaya School is part of Governor Inuwa Yahaya’s education policy to provide education for all indigenes of Gombe State.
She said the government has mapped and profiled 1500 tsangaya Schools and girl child centres across Gombe State. We provided intervention in 676 centres which include 385 tsangayas, 291 Girl child centres.
“We moped up 230,740 out-of-school children, out of which about 76,000 are tsangaya pupils with 33,203 of them girls. 1,460 NCE teachers and 89 monitoring officers were also engaged”, she explained.
In his short remarks, the BESDA coordinator, commended Gombe State Governor for his support to BESDA programme which saw to the establishment of the Mega school, the edifice that will serve as a model to other states.
The Head of the Tsangaya School who spoke through Goni Chashiya thanked Governor Inuwa Yahaya for transforming the historic tsangaya into a modern centre with all necessary facilities which is a clear demonstration of the governor’s passion in education.
In his remarks during a townhall meeting at the Government House, the representative of Universal Basic Education Board and BESDA national implementation adviser, Dr Danjuma Adamu Dabo described achievements recorded in Gombe in education as exemplary, calling on other states to emulate the good policies and programmes of Inuwa-led administration.
He said, considering the effort put in building the Mega Tsangaya School in Gombe State, UBEC pledged to provide computers, solar power facilities, skill acquisition facilities and other e-learning infrastructures to the centre to complement the states government efforts in sustaining the centre.
Also in his remarks, Prof Muhd shafi’u Abdullahi, Registrar, National Board For Arabic and Islamic Education, NBAIS, said the board would dedicate 20 trained personel for the newly commissioned Tsangaya School for the purpose of training of Tsangayas teachers and other related services in Gombe State.
Other resource persons and distinguished personalities who spoken at the event include, Professor Salihu Mika’ila, Former Vice Chancellor, Usman Danfodiyo University Sokoto, Professor Khalid Abdullahi Zaria, Hon. Dr Balarabe Shehu Kakale from Sokoto who isbthe sponsor of the the bill on Out-of-School Children and Almajiri Education in the National Assembly, Chairman Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Rev. Father, Joseph Alphonsus Shinga among others.
The governor was honoured at the event with a title of “Garkuwan Makaranta Al’Qur’ani” by Center For Qur’anic Reciters of Nigeria and also received letters of appreciation and award of excellence from the Conference of Almajiri Union and Almajiri Reformation and Empowerment Initiative of Nigeria (AREN) respectively.
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