Extreme Poor State of Secondary School Education in Gombe State
Educators are always concerned with the improvement of a learner’s performance, any project that cannot significantly improve learner’s performance is not worth embarking upon, a typical example is the lipstick education projects of Gombe state government. It is the responsibility of the government to provide quality education to its citizens. In the context of Nigeria, the state government is responsible for providing secondary education. Any serious government that has the political will to improve secondary education must address the challenges of quality teachers and instructional materials. Anything short of quality teachers and instructional materials is just a lipstick service to secondary education. Quality teachers and instructional materials are the backbone for solid education anywhere in the world.
The minimum teaching qualification as enshrined in the national policy on education is the Nigeria Certificate in Education (NCE) at the junior secondary school level. At the senior secondary school level, a degree is required as the teaching qualification.
However, in Gombe state, secondary schools lack sufficient calibre of these teachers while unqualified teachers take the centre stage of teaching, many of the secondary schools heavily depend on teaching practice students mostly from colleges of education and faculties of education at the universities. You go to a secondary school you find that unqualified teachers dominate the qualified once. The few qualified teachers teaching in secondary schools in Gombe state lacks motivation because of the meager salary they earned. The few qualified teachers available in the secondary schools by chance is just a matter of time for the teachers to leave because of the extremely poor salary which hardly last for 10 days after the salary.
The last struck that broke the camel back is the performance indicator that shows that Gombe state in the last five years is trailing at the bottom of May/Jun WAEC performance chart, in 2017 May/Jun Gombe state is third to the last on the WAEC performance chart showing the true extremely poor state of secondary education in Gombe state. If the government of Gombe state claim to `embark on project that can improve education, then the performance indicators must show improvement otherwise the project is not worth embarking upon.
In Gombe state, you find dilapidated government secondary schools located in remote villages where some of the classes typically took place under the tree due to lack of sufficient classes. Though, the government of Gombe state embarked on some projects in secondary schools to show as if they are serious in developing the sector, an example of such project includes renovations and building of classrooms in some selected secondary schools. In addition, the famous and highly celebrated science II project.
However, these are mere lipstick service to secondary education in view of the fact that these project alone will never and can never improve learning outcomes of the learners. Even the few projects, many of them are uncompleted as the government normally takes long time before paying local contractors.
The way forward is for the government of Gombe state to significantly increase the salary of teachers to at least N100, 000:00 for NCE holders, while N150,000:00 for degree holders at a start. This can maintain the few quality teachers in the system and quality teachers outside the system can be attracted to pick up a teaching job at secondary schools in Gombe state. Sufficient instructional materials must be supplied to all the secondary schools. Subsequently, impose stringent, effective monitoring and evaluation measures.
I am currently studying NECO performance chart and state of primary education in Gombe state.
Dr. Haruna Chiroma write from Federal College of Education (Technical), Gombe. Contacts: email@example.com; Facebook: haruna chiroma.