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Yahaya Bello, Governor of Kogi State

The education sector in Kogi under the Yahaya Bello government is functioning despite criticism due to misinformation. reports OYIBO SALIHU.

His Excellency Governor Yahaya Adoza Bello assumed the helm of Kogi State on January 27, 2016.
The Governor being a product of a quality educational institution, the prestigious Ahmadu Bello University of Zaria, knew that education is the foundation of all societal development.

It was with this realization that Governor Bello began to establish his priority by placing the sector first in his five thematic areas.
In doing so, he ensured that basic education and higher education received the attention they wanted.

Harmonization program

To rejuvenate the sector, he brought together all education parastatals to enable them to advance the progress of education in the state. However, with the prompt payment of the matching fund, the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) has become an example of government policy for standardized basic education in the state.

Along these lines, under the current administration, more than 2,000 classroom blocks have been renovated in primary and secondary schools across the state.
The effort is to give them a facelift and create an environment conducive to teaching and learning; this is in addition to more than 100,000 custom desks and chairs distributed to schools in all three Senate districts as part of education reform.

Creation of model centers

Apparently, to boost the sector, the Governor has established the GYB Model Primary Schools in all 239 wards of the state and has also established GYB Model Science Secondary Schools each in the state’s three Senate Districts including Lokoja, La state capital.
Secondary schools have been built and equipped with state-of-the-art teaching and learning equipment including laboratories, well-furnished classrooms, staff rooms, a computer center and modern sports facilities, among others.

Teacher employment

The government was undoubtedly concerned about the shortage of teachers in secondary schools in the state, as it was clear that some secondary schools had no more than three teachers, including the principal.

Therefore, to ensure quality teaching, especially in the newly established science schools, Governor Bello gave his approval for the recruitment of 4,000 teachers.
However, the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology in conjunction with the Kogi State Scientific, Technical and Education Services Commission (STETSCOM) has concluded the recruitment processes pending issuance. letters of appointment to successful candidates.

Midas touches in other areas

Again, eager to do more in the sector, the pro-education governor, as he is known in the state, initiated and completed construction of 50-bed capacity hostels at the College of Nursing and Midwifery Obangede in Okehi.
The construction of the library extension to the College of (Technical) Education, Kabba at Kabba-Bunu is among the Governor’s many efforts to leave the area better than he encountered it.

State poly got a makeover

Furthermore, Kogi Lokoja State Polytechnic, established in 1993, had in the past suffered from infrastructural neglect as the polytechnic clinic, for example, lacked medical staff to service students and staff. According to the investigation, the institution’s library lost many useful textbooks during the rainy season due to roof leaks for many years.

Angered by the situation, Governor Bello took a bold step to tackle the issues which included the dilapidated lecture halls, security office, clinic, hostels and library. He undertakes renovations and the construction of new buildings in the establishment.
Today, the institution can boast of having a brand new administrative block after 29 years. The building conveniently provided a suitable office for staff.

One of the projects provided in the polytechnic to serve students, staff and even the host community is the 30-bed health center with three full-time doctors and members of the National Youth Service Corps as as supporting physicians and nurses.

In addition to the new structure planned for the polytechnic, a model security house that gives a facelift to the security office has also been provided to the institution to combat insecurity and worship.
For efficient operation and management of the institution, the management through the support of the governor has automated their system in the institution.

Automation should enable the institution to optimize resource allocation, reduce costs and manage admissions, registrations, examinations, payment of tuition fees and the efficient delivery of student results in relation to to the past where students who had graduated for many years could not access their original certificates.

The new CUSTECH Osara

Gov Bello believes that science and technology are crucial for creating wealth, economic growth and improving standardized living.

With this in mind, he established Confluence University of Science and Technology (CUSTECH) Osara in 2020 and appointed Prof. Sadiku Salawu as a pioneer Vice-Chancellor.
Two years later, the university is growing rapidly and has bridged the gap between Kogi natives seeking admission out of state and admission seekers from neighboring states.

The university currently has three faculties with 19 courses, all duly approved by the Nigeria Universities Commission (NUC)
To achieve this, Governor Bello did what no other governor in Nigeria has done by allocating 30% of the state’s annual budget to education, even when UNESCO recommended only 26%.

Education Commissioner speaks

Speaking on some of the achievements recorded by the administration, the State Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Mr. Wemi Jones, said Governor Bello had left impressive marks on the sector in a manner unprecedented since the creation of the state in August 1991. .
The commissioner recently spoke with reporters in Okene during the distribution of 11,000 physics and chemistry textbooks to senior high schools as part of the state’s public school adoption and mentorship program.

He said that the governor has not only provided the necessary funds to all higher education institutions in the state, but also provided the necessary facilities and created an environment conducive to learning and teaching through the issuance continuation of a social protection program for teaching and non-teaching staff.

“The result of Governor Yahaya Bello’s efforts and commitment to education has resulted in one hundred percent accreditation of courses offered at all public higher institutions.
“Furthermore, the Governor has ensured that all 48 courses offered at Kogi State University in Ayingba have been granted full accreditation by NUC, making it the first time since the establishment of the institution.

“Besides accreditation, the institution also came out 25th out of 170 public and private universities in Nigeria that have full accreditation for all courses offered.
“Kogi State Polytechnic, Lokoja has also shared the joy of full accreditation of all courses offered in the institution as it achieved 100% success in the recent accreditation exercise conducted by the National Board of Technical Education (NBTE).”

Jones, who attributed the successes to Gov. Yahaya Bello’s unwavering support and commitment to educational development in the state, said another regulatory body, the National Commission on Colleges of Education (NCCE), also found that the two state-owned colleges of education, namely College of Education Ankpa and College of Technical Education, Kabba worthy of full accreditation of the courses they offer, which making it the first in the history of both colleges.

According to him, the College of Technical Education, Kabba presented 17 courses offered at the college and obtained full accreditation in 2017, noting that Governor Yahaya Bello also completed 10 buildings at the permanent site and provided a large bus to facilitate travel. staff and students outside other institutions.

The commissioner said that apart from course accreditations, another great accomplishment of the governor in education is academic stability as resuming students know when they will graduate without any interruptions.
“This has of course made the state’s higher institutions reliable as students from neighboring states are jostling for admission to public institutions as they are sure to graduate in record time,” the commissioner added. .

Commenting, a retired primary school teacher, Mallam Tijani Abdul commended the Governor for his landmark achievements in the field of education.

“I can attest that before Governor Yahaya Bello took over as head of state, the structure of primary schools in rural areas was in a state of disrepair and required attention. It would interest you to know that during the rainy season, students were allowed to go home during school hours as some classes were fleeing.
“But today, virtually all of these classrooms have had a facelift while renovations are still underway in some schools. I ask the Governor to also approve the recruitment of elementary school teachers as most of the good hands have retired after years of service,” he said.

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