This is my first piece of writing to the public and I think other people can take their pens and write the good, the bad and the ugly on the increment of school fees in Kaduna state tertiary institutions and the effect it can cause to the country.
I am not saying the cue I took on this issue is the best and neither I say it is the only right way because other people may see it as the only way to Kaduna state educational progress.
But for me and many, we perceived that the exponential increased school fees of Kaduna state tertiary institutions will only crush the hope of Nigeria students, and if Kaduna state go ahead with the implementation of the increment then many states will follow and the Federal Government can also see a good way to solve its long educational feud between educational unions.
Yes, education is expensive but it is the responsibility of every government to invest in it for the best of its citizens, states and the country because ignorance is a deadly disease deadlier than Coronavirus.
Sir, I must commend your government for doing much in the educational sector of the state. Having you as a governor of Kaduna has changed many stories of poor education in the state.
Primary education in Kaduna state is not just free but compulsory for every child of Kaduna state indigene.
Kaduna state made a history because it was the first state to start feeding of primary school pupils in Nigeria before the Federal Government get involved and this idea helped in restoring the lost glory of basic education in the state and Nigeria. While, in 2015 the state provided 770000 units of furniture and 305000 seats to all primary schools in the state to replace the broken ones. Meanwhile, in an effort to provide conducive environment of learning for pupils, in 2016, more than 400 schools were targeted for renovation in the state and many schools were converted to storey building to accommodate learners.
Because secondary school is very important to human knowledge, Malam Nasir El-Rufa’i made it free and accessible for all students, and to draw the attention of youths to learning. Secondary schools in the state from JSS to SSS are free for all female students with a token amount for male of SSS students. Uniform is free for all JSS students and in 2019, 230,000 free uniforms were distributed to students of Junior Secondary Schools.
Truly, education in Kaduna state is repositioned to its standards but the sudden increment of school fess in all the tertiary institution in the state will not go well for the students of Kaduna state students who benefitted from the kind offer of free education of Kaduna state government.
For a female student who finished from primary school and secondary school free there is no way for the student to acquire N150,000 or almost N100,000 to study.
Dr. Rilwan Hassan the Executive Secretary of Kaduna State Scholarships and Loans Board in his words of comfort, said that his Board is assisting students with scholarship but statistics have shown in almost N10,000 indigene of Kaduna state students only 500 students get the scholarship because of its competition and vigorous examinations involved, and every examination is attached with success and failure.
Malam, you are a leader of purpose and focus, a leader for the poor, the rich and all. Derek Bok, president of Harvard University once said, if education is expensive people should try ignorance, and ignorance will not yield good for our dear state. Kaduna state as a learning center and the centre of the North should lead in all facet of learning and give good examples to other northern states but this school fees increment is never a good virtue to teach.
Our governor, you have achieved a lot in making education in the state a gold for all and your superb ideas had tackled the menace of out of school problems in Kaduna state. Youth thuggery has ended and no more ‘sara suka’ crises because one of the reasons is you made secondary schools free in the state and all the trouble youths dropped their weapons and embraced education.
It is a common fact that public schools in Nigeria are termed as the school of the poor because most of the rich take their children outside the country to study or enrol them in expensive private schools in the country, and truly Sir, those proposed amounts of school fees are meant for the poor indigenes of Kaduna state students and this is why as a student that finished from public school chose this medium to plead with you on behalf of all the students that think this increment will crash their hope and dreams to have a second thought about the future of the people you govern.
We hope you will not ignore to continue in your efforts of supporting education of all levels in the state irrespective of gender and levels as we fear the recent increment by your government will lead the country in making education expensive and deniable to the poor students and history will never forget this.
Hussaina Ibrahim Danja writes from Kaduna. She can be reached through firstname.lastname@example.org