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Zulum’s giant strides in the education sector

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Zulum. Photo/TWITTER/GOvBORNO

“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest”­–Benjamin Franklin

Sir: In his first year in office, Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State reportedly undertook 375 projects; of which 326 stand as physical projects with the remaining 49 as capital-intensive. That equates to an average of one project per day, in sync with his development mission, aptly tagged: ‘10-pact Transformation Agenda.’

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One critical sector of his performance is quality education delivery in the state. He embarked on massive construction, rehabilitation and renovations of hundreds of blocks of classrooms and offices in schools, with all of them well-equipped with hi-tech learning facilities. After assessing the rehabilitation of some primary schools in the state capital, Governor Zulum said: “The intention of this administration is to rehabilitate all the 76 existing primary schools in Maiduguri Metropolitan Council. Additional classrooms will be constructed where there’s a need for it.”

In 2020, he successfully commissioned two mega schools, which the government built in low-income communities of Borno State. This means that about 3,000 pupils now have access to 60 classrooms. The state government provided pupils already admitted with free uniforms. While the schools will be run by the communities, the state government will pay the teachers’ salaries. To make them functional, the government has employed 1,000 additional teachers for the state. Apart from the provision of facilities, attention is given to the training and re-training of school teachers.

To inculcate the spirit of dedication to duty, Governor Zulum paid an unscheduled visit to a Primary School early in the morning, finding only one teacher on duty. He rewarded her with a cash gift of N100, 000 and promotion to the post of Assistant Headmistress! Such a noble gesture has no doubt driven home the salient message that dedication to duty eventually pays.

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Commendable also is the government’s focus on the rehabilitation of children who unfortunately live in IDP camps. As part of Zulum’s humanitarian trip to Damasak, at the shores of Lake Chad, a total of 1,163 children of IDPs were enrolled in primary schools in Mobbar Local Council to facilitate the governor’s enrolment campaign.

The governor also approved N578m scholarship for 23,894 students of Borno citizens. These include those pursuing Masters and PhD degrees and undergraduate degrees in different tertiary institutions within and outside Borno State. The payments are made into the beneficiaries’ bank accounts as at when due.

His winning the prestigious Nigeria Union of Journalists’ 2019 Award, for the “Most Promising First Term Governor in Nigeria,” is, therefore, well deserved. In fact, it topped a nationwide comparative assessment carried out by a group of seasoned journalists.

Other state governors should come to terms with the fact that education remains the key to technological advancement. Governor Zulum has shown the inalienable fact that committed leaders do not require ages to be prepared for the onerous tasks on hand.

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