By Ismail Abdulaziz
The Sir Ahmadu Bello Memorial Foundation has called on leaders to address the educational challenges confronting northern Nigeria.
Alhaji Ibrahim Shekarau, Secretary Board of Trustees of the foundation, disclosed this on Friday while briefing newsmen in Abuja.
He said that with the full support of critical stakeholders the region would attain the desired educational level as laid down by its founding fathers like Sir Ahmadu Bello.
“We have been working on several strategies to review, update and find lasting solutions to the challenges of educational backwardness in the north.
“Critical stakeholders like governors, members of the national assembly, members of the federal executive council, and academicians towards charting a new course for education in the north as well as Nigeria as a whole.
“In the course of this project, we delved into conducting comprehensive research into this challenge. A report will be presented at a stakeholder’s conference on Tuesday in Abuja.
”The results of this research have shed light on a rather gloomy situation, and also provided valuable insights into how we can revamp the educational landscape in the Northern region,” Shekarau said.
Also speaking, Prof. Rukayyah Rufai, former minister of Education, said the findings of the research would alleviate the various challenges mitigating education in the north.
She said that the research comprises long years of interaction with the three tiers of government, education administrators and academicians, among others.
Rufai said that the research aimed to provide a working document for charting a new direction for education in the north.
Prof. Yahaya Kuta, a board member of the foundation and former commissioner for Information in Niger, said the challenges in education traverse the entire country.
He said that statistics have shown similar trends and sometimes even reversals of educational attainments in the country.
He said that states known for being pacesetters are now experiencing similar phenomena like those of the north.
“In the past, the north was the unarguable leader in out of school children. But now, a similar pattern has emerged in other states because of negligence and lack of use of trending innovations and ideas.
“This report to be presented on Tuesday will open a new fiesta not only for the northern region but for advancement of education in the country as a whole,” he said.(NAN)