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Home Opinion OPINION! Exam Fees: OPEN LETTER TO GOV. MASARI -By Abdul Shamsu Funtua
OPINION! Exam Fees: OPEN LETTER TO GOV. MASARI -By Abdul Shamsu Funtua

OPINION! Exam Fees: OPEN LETTER TO GOV. MASARI -By Abdul Shamsu Funtua

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Sorry I will be skipping the necessary greetings conventionally attached to a letter like this due to the severity of the matters arising. I write this letter to you with indescribable pains and sense of disappointment in my heart concerning the shocking suspension payment for WAEC, NECO and NABTEB.

Dear Masari, You rode on the crest of change with Restoration Agenda as your campaign slogan. Using the Restoration slogan, you pledged to restore the lost glory of Katsina state which according to you and your campaign handlers, had been battered by long years of misrule. Indeed, all throughout the campaigns, You said your mission was to restore the lost glory of the state and listed critical sectors of water supply, education, health, agriculture and security as your priority areas.

We the masses believed you and crucified former Governor Ibrahim Shema whom we hurriedly sent back to Shema Village.

Your Excellency, You emphasized that your continued contest for election was borne out of your strong will to salvage this our state from the selfish hands of unscrupulous leaders before we finally reach a blind alley and we queued behind you with our little strengths after being economically dehydrated by Governor Ibrahim Shema-led former administration.

Sir, We the masses also believed and trusted in you to help set our state on the right course after our 16-year old ordeal in the hands of leaders of the People’s Democratic Party who heartlessly defiled our treasury.

Despite the inducement in a bid to influence our voting decisions but we stood for you sir.

We all saw hope through you. We picked up our Permanent Voters’ Cards, PVCs wielded them in the air like weapons and stormed the various polling units; our warfronts where we fought for the destiny of Our dear state.

Sir, you were our last hope of bringing succour to this State. But today, you have not only gone back on virtually all your campaign promises, you have also compounded our woes. If you can’t take us out of the Wilderness to the land of Canaan as promised, why don’t you leave us there rather than ruin our lives in the deep Red Sea. The suspension of payment of examination fees for our secondary school students negates the promises you made. It is a betrayal of the trust we have in you. It is really disheartening. I hurt so bad as I pen down my words at the wee hours of the day considering how massive I supported you during the elections.

It is painful when we look at the type of students produced by our public primary and secondary schools, it does appear that teachers with insufficient knowledge taught them.

There are many factors for the state underdevelopment in education, both the primary and secondary education was ruin by junk unqualified teachers who only go to the classes for folk tales in hausa, forgetting their primary assignment.

If you go to some schools, you would see that people who teach a particular subject are not experts in that field. A bad teacher is a perpetuator of error. A bad teacher fertilizes error that is on the verge of extinction. Just like the English language, it is not the kind of subject anybody can teach. We can get competent teachers by looking at the production of such teachers.

Classes are overcrowded and congested to the level that teachers struggled to impart knowledge to their students, while the heat generated from the congestion in the classrooms could be felt even on the corridors of the classrooms. Situations where students were drenched in sweat, where there was neither electricity nor fan to cool already choked classrooms. A teacher has to teach as many as 200 students, mark hundreds of scripts and shout at the top of his or her voice to make sure that the students learn. Crowded classroom conditions not only make it difficult for students to concentrate on their lessons, but inevitably limit the amount of time teachers can spend on innovative teaching methods such as cooperative learning and group work or, indeed on teaching anything beyond the barest minimum of required material. In addition, because teachers must constantly struggle simply to maintain order in an overcrowded classroom.

Do we blame the students alone for failing? It is garbage in garbage out situation.  Why do we expect the performance of students today to be comparable to that of years before?  Has anything remained the same?  Have NEPA, water supply, state of roads as well all other infrastructure not deteriorated?  Why then do we expect the exact opposite in the education system?  Blaming the kids will not get us anywhere.  It’s all a reflection of decades of rot in our society,  Instead of deceiving ourselves by setting exams that will not tell us the true capabilities of our children, but rather push them to committing all sorts of atrocities so they can scale through, let’s open our eyes and see the truth, Most of the so called smart students who scale through the mock exams do so through fraudulent means.

It is not fair to blame the students alone and punish them for the rot in our educational system, suspending the payment of examination fees will not only make students dropout of school but also increase rate of drug abuse in our society, the truth is many parents can’t afford to pay for their children in this period when they are struggling day and night to put food on the table for their families, at this period when people can no longer afford three square meal, if you really want to return katsina state to its past glory, in the spirit of fairness that decision should be reversed until you put the educational system in order. Renovations and Rehabilitations of schools  without equipping it with professional and qualified teachers is a job half done.

You must be commended for enrolling your children into Public school despite the fact that the particular school is better equipped and well staffed than any other public school in the state.

Instead of suspending the payment of the examination fees, why not discard the non functional Political appointees that have not fared better in human capital utilisation. Many of them have no designation, job description or office. It is usual on working days to see them gather under the trees that adorn the parking lot of the Governor’s office, discussing all sorts of issues rather than productivity of the State which ought to be their focus.

One is Gold

One is Steel

You decide which is it!

Abdul Shamsu Funtua

abdulshamsufuntua@gmail.com

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