There have been a lot of public outcry over the poor state of public education system, especially primary
and secondary schools in the country. In this piece, GOLOK NANMWA examines efforts being made to give
facelift to public schools in Plateau State


On assumption of office in
May 29th 2015 , the Plateau
State governor, Simon Lalong,
said among the myriad of
problems and challenges he
inherited from the previous
administration is a decayed
and faulty education system.
The governor stated this
recently while speaking at the
graduation ceremony of Saint
Louis College in Jos, the state
capital .
He said his plan is to improve
on the quality of primary
and secondary education in
the state. The governor said
having started the payment
of outstanding workers
salaries, his next priority will
be security and education.
To give the education sector
the necessary priority, Lalong
also appointed his Deputy
Governor Prof. Sonni Tyoden
to oversee the education
ministry in the state.
Recently, the Universal Basic
Examination Commission,
UBEC, handed over a 250
capacity examination hall
and administrative block
in Government Secondary
School, Du, Jos South to the
Plateau State Government.
Dr. Dikko Suleiman, the
Executive Secretary, UBEC
who handed the two structures
in Jos said the structures
were part of government’s
intervention to improve the
learning facilities of junior
secondary schools across the
country. The secretary who
was represented by Dr Yakubu
Gambo, the deputy secretary,
Services in UBEC said the
completed structures are to
further create an enabling
environment for learning in
the Plateau.
He noted that many public
schools do not have conducive
examinational halls to write
their junior and senior
secondary school certificate
examinations which are part
of the criteria for writing the
examinations. ‘’We know with
an enabling environment, the
standard of education will be
improved and there will be
no embarrassment from the
examination bodies that such
public schools do not meet
part of the criteria for writing
the Junior or Secondary School
certificate exams,’’ he said.
He said the intervention
programme is also in 50
schools across the 17 LGAs in
Plateau. He said some have
been completed and some
are still ongoing. “We have
interventions like this in 50
schools in Plateau, especially
the construction of blocks
of classrooms. The least is 5
blocks but where there are
enough classrooms, we focus
on building examination
halls,’’ he explained.
In his response, Mr
Christopher Bello, the
permanent secretary,
Secondary School Education
Plateau Ministry of Education
promised to ensure the
facilities are maintained
and put to good use. He
commended UBEC for their
intervention programmes in
junior secondary schools and
assured them that there will
definitely be improvement in
the performance of students.
Bello said the school authority
would be held responsible for
any damage in the completed
The principal of the school,
Mrs Susan Dalyop said that the
new structures have increased
interest on the number of
candidates who want admission
in the school. She said they no
longer used wooden chairs
and tables but the exotic
furniture provided by the UBEC
Similarly, UBEC is constructing
E- libraries worth N255 million
in three public schools in the
state, its official have disclosed.
Dr Yakubu Gambo, the Deputy
Executive Secretary (Services)
told newsmen in Jos recently
that the construction of the
E-libraries in each school will
cost N85 million.
He said the libraries which
are almost completed in Unity
College Bokkos, Government
Secondary School, Pankshin,
and Federal Government
Girls College, Langtang, is
to reposition public schools
access to learning and research
materials. ‘’The World now
is virtual, facilitated by the
convenience of the information
technology which means the
importance of E-libraries to
augment the Conventional
libraries,’’ he explained.
The UBEC official expressed
satisfaction on the progress
of work at the various public
schools and said the libraries
will have 40 computers each for
its operation and a generating
plant. “We have recently
supervised the construction in
these public schools and work is
going on remarkably.
“The E-library will have 40
computers in each of the public
schools and a generating plant
which the Unity College, Bokkos,
already have. It is a 40kVA plant
awaiting installation,’’ he said.
Gambo said the E-libraries
will not only be for students
but teachers also so that
they can have access to use
information resources and tools
that have been conventionally
inaccessible. He said the
intervention of “the Commission
in constructing the libraries is
also aimed at improving the
standard of education not only
in Plateau but the country, a
prerequisite for development.’’
In a related matter, the State
Universal Basic Education
Board, SUBEB, has disclosed
that no fewer than 1, 228 pupils
left private schools to enroll in
public schools in the state in
the last six months. The SUBEB
executive chairman, Prof.
Mathew Sule, told newsmen in
Jos that the migration to public
schools was because parents’
confidence in the schools had
been restored due to rising
Sule added that learning and
teaching conditions in public
schools had improved. “We have
recorded a cross-over of more
than 1, 000 students from private
to public schools in the last six
months. Our findings show
that it is because confidence is
being restored to parents on the
improved standard of education
obtainable in the public schools.
“Public schools like the
Seventh Day Adventist, Laranto;
LEA Rikkos; Township Primary;
Obasanjo Primary School; St
John Roman Catholic Mission;
all in Jos North and Jos South
have recorded cross-over. The
figures are 623, 127, 325, 120 and
33 students respectively to these
schools,’’ he said.
The SUBEB chairman asserted
that the board’s stern monitoring
system had also made teachers
more committed in their duties.
“We pay the public schools
unscheduled visits,’’ he said.
Sule stressed that the rising
standard of education in public
schools was evidenced by the
performance of the Plateau
delegation to the 2015 Interstate
Basic Schools’ Debate
Championship held in Ogun
in October. He noted that the
students who were all from
public schools, distinguished
themselves at the championship.
“The best speaker at the
competition was Cynthia Odeh,
who is a public school student in
Plateau. We were not amongst
the first three but the recognition
indicates that there is hope in
the state’s public school system
and I am optimistic that we
will do better at subsequent
competitions,’’ the SUBEB
chairman said.
Sule recalled that Miss Sharon
Marcus, a public school student,
came second at the Spelling
Bee competition organised

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