Following the El-Rufai example in the education sector

Nasir El-Rufai, Kaduna State Governor

By Muhammad Auwal Ibrahim

Education in Nigeria can be salvaged if Nigeria’s leaders take their kids to public run institutions. The falling standard of education in Nigeria continues by the day due to numerous reasons. There is an urgent need for our education standard to be raised. It is unfortunate that up till now, some students of public schools hardly learn in conducive environments and hardly receive adequate knowledge needed because not all of their teachers are qualified to teach. And even the non-qualified ones are inadequate.

In many public schools today, you will find classes where most students sit on the floor with some on the available seats. But experts say if the children of the chairman of that local government area were to be in that public school, the situation would have been different.

You could find many public schools today whose structures might look okay from the outside, but who do not have proper fencing. As a result of this, stubborn students easily escape from the school before closing hours.

But if a governor should enroll his son in a public school, his education commissioner does the same, the SUBEB chairman does the same, and the principal of that public school does the same, do you think the situation would remain the same? Do you think the standard of Nigeria’s education will continue falling?
If no is the answer, then this idea would be a welcome development and should be used as a means of improving the falling standard of education in Nigeria.

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There is no chief executive of a country or a state that will allow his child’s future to be ruined. He won’t. Whenever teachers’ union are on strike, quick and serious action would be taken because the chief executive won’t like to see his children every day at home because of a problem he could solve very easily.

Likewise the other officials of highly placed positions mentioned above. In fact, they would satisfy all the striking staffs’ needs before they even embark on a strike. And these regular and unnecessary strikes will be curbed.
Not only this, all the required learning materials (textbooks, computers, etc) needed in public schools would be provided and no one will divert them because his/her child is one of the beneficiaries. This is because if he does so, he cheats himself indirectly.

Apart from this, good pipe borne drinking water, conducive learning atmosphere, furniture and employment of qualified staff would be ensured in the public schools. The teaching staff will also do their best in discharging their duties because there is an offspring of the chief executive there. The teachers’ own children will not also be excluded. Hence, it is not only the children of the poor that are there. Everyone will mind his business and do his job without laziness, lateness, and wickedness.

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This same procedure, if taken at the federal level, students in Nigerian universities and other tertiary institutions would be happy and graduate on time.
Let there be the president’s children, the minister’s children, the professor’s children and other children of His and Her Excellencies across all the public schools/universities and the quality of education in Nigeria would be boosted.

Assuming that the son of the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the son of the Academic Staff Union of the Universities’ head, the son of the minister of education, the children of top government officials and the children of all the first class emirs are in Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), University of Lagos (UNILAG), Bayero University Kano (BUK), or University of Maiduguri (UNIMAID), the recent ASUU strike wouldn’t have lasted for months.

Or do you think that all these people listed above don’t love their children’s future? It is that love that made most of them send their children overseas for study.

Hence, for Kaduna state governor Nasir El-Rufai to enroll his son in a public school, Kaduna Capital School, on Monday September 23, 2019, this is indeed a welcome development.

Although it has generated a lot of comments from various sections of the society, to those who wants the improvement of the standards of education in Nigeria, this development is considered as a way towards improving the falling standard of education in the country.

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The governor’s son is a primary pupil. Whatever he learns, he would tell his father or mother. By so doing, they will get to know the quality of education their son and others are getting in the school. If it is okay, they commend the teachers for job well done. But when they are not doing their work well, it will be easy for the governor to take action without waiting to hear from the television, radio or social media. Information reaches the appropriate authority directly.

The enrollment of El-Rufai’s son in a public school is a fulfillment of a promise he made earlier on in 2017 when he said “I will by personal example ensure that my son that will be six years of age in 2019 will be enrolled in a public school in Kaduna State, by God’s grace.”

This showed that Nigerian politicians can fulfill their promises. It also showed that the habit of this day’s politicians of not fulfilling promises is coming to an end. And that the blueprint for lifting Nigeria’s standard of education is for our leaders to enroll their kids in the public institutions.

Muhammad Auwal Ibrahim can be reached on

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