Why Nigerian Education System is fading – Unilorin Chancellor, Emir of Katsina

The Chancellor of the University of Ilorin
and Emir of
Katsina, Alhaji (Dr.) Abdulmumini Kabir
Usman, has
attributed the falling standard of education in
the country to
the failure of the primary school system,
which, according to
him, “is the bedrock of every other
educational system”.
Dr. Usman, who stated this in an interview
with Unilorin
Bulletin, also bemoaned the lack of adequate
required for teaching and learning, lamenting
that the
“quality of our primary education has been
The royal father, who was installed the
Chancellor of the
University of Ilorin at the just concluded 31st
ceremony of the institution, said, “Primary
school education
is the foundation and it must be very strong;
we need to
have a very sound foundation on which we
build the
nation’s educational superstructure. It will be
good to have a
very sound primary education because it is
the basic.”
He stated further, “When you go to a
classroom you see
about 300, even 500 pupils. How can you
teach effectively
under that condition? This is a crowd. I did
my primary
school in Dutsin-ma and we were just 30 in a
class. While I
was a District Head, I did a blue print on that.
Among the
point I raised was the need to have adequate
accommodation for the pupils and to limit the
number of
students per class.”
The Chancellor called for greater commitment
by those
charged with the responsibility of imparting
through qualitative teaching. He canvassed
the enactment of
a “law that a person has to be at least an
NCE holder, a
graduate or Diploma holder before he/she
could be
employed to teach in our public schools.”
Dr. Usman described as unacceptable a
situation “where you
have wives of directors, permanent secretary
and what have
you who don’t know how to teach but are
only there just
collect salary”, pointing out that, “When the
late Umaru Yar
‘Adua was the Governor of Katsina State, we
were allowed to
interview some people who applied to teach
in our primary
schools. But unfortunately, the first person
we interviewed
couldn’t spell black board! This shows that
such person lacks
the background. And people like this flood
the nation’s
education system.”
The royal father, who was also conferred with
the Doctor of
Laws (LL.D) Honoris Causa by the University
of Ilorin during
the convocation, further revealed that he had
written a memo to the new Governor of
Katsina State, Alhaji
Aminu Bello Masari on the issue, expressing
confidence in
the ability of the Government to “correct all
the anomalies in
the entire system including the educational
Expressing support for President Muhammadu
effort at tackling the scourge of corruption in
the country,
the Emir said, “I am happy that the entire
world is behind
Nigeria in this crusade to rid the country of
corruption so
that we can be counted once again among
the countries to
be reckoned with. I pray that the government
will succeed in
this mission.”
The Chancellor took exception to the
agitation in some
quarters for constitutional roles for traditional
rulers in the
country, saying, “When some senior Emirs
met and a
communiqué was to be issued to canvass for
specific roles
for traditional rulers, I specifically said my
signature would
not be there, because I don’t advise
traditional rulers to be
in the constitution. Let’s remain the way we
are now. I
specifically advocate we remain the way we
The Emir of Katsina opined that “when you
see traditional
rulers in the constitution, a governor or
whoever is not in
good terms with the Emir can withhold what
is due the
community and along the way, they may
instigate the
community against the Emir. So, I don’t think
it is good for
us. We are in Allah’s constitution that is the
Holy Quran. If
we remain the way we are now, God will
assist us. If we
agree to go into the man-made constitution,
it can
jeopardize our system. So, I don’t’ believe in
the call for
constitutional role for traditional rulers”, he
According to him, “You don’t have to put it in
constitution before the job could be done; it
just needs a
circular from the government detailing the
Emirs to do this
and that. It is as simple as that. We are
doing it already”, he
The royal father said, “When you go into my
palace now, you
will see a lot of people there. I sit down there
and arbitrate
between my people. All Katsina people are
always here.
Even from Lagos, Jos, Port Harcourt etc, you
will see people
coming to my palace soliciting for arbitration
on debt issues,
land matters etc”, maintaining that, “nobody
has asked me
to do this. But I know it is my duty and
nobody will stop me.
I don’t discriminate here and I don’t take any
nonsense from
anybody. You are here to obey the rules and
regulations of
the government and the traditions of the
community. I don’t
“When you see me talking with a Christian,
you will think
that I am a Christian, when you see me
talking with any
other sect, the Izala sect, the Tariqa sect,
and so on, you will
feel I am one of them. I relate with everybody
equally. When
I am relating with an Igbo, you will not know
the difference
between us. That is why Katsina is tagged
the most peaceful
community in the entire federation. So,
whoever is in
Katsina, I see them as my own and treat
them equally and
that is why Katsina is one of the most
peaceful places in the
country”, he noted.

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A Web Developer, Educationalist And A Lover Of The Nigerian Students.

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