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Saturday, January 8, 2011

Trivial 10 Jega Needs to Explain

Trivial 10
by Dr. Aliyu U. Tilde

JEGA Needs to Explain

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) requested and got the approval of the Minister of Education for all primary and secondary schools in the country to be closed for a month in order to use the premises of those schools as venues for voters' registration exercise. The Minister promptly issued an order to that effect without explaining the rationale behind the decision other than the request of INEC.

The order was received by Nigerians both within and outside the country with anger. They see this as a portrayal of government insensitivity to the development of this country. A month of academic work is a lot. The order will deny our children over ten per cent of the scheme for this year. The ministry should not have approved the request given the continuous deterioration of our children's performance at all levels. What we indeed expect is an extention of the academic year, not its contraction.

Many people have asked whether the closure is even necessary. Just how much space does INEC needs to accommodate a registration officer and his laptop? Does he need the whole 2 to 4 hectares of land that makes a school? Does he need all its dozens of classrooms? Would he require thousands of its chairs and desks? Does he need dozens of teachers to stay idle before he can carry out his job? How many people can he handle at a time to warrant so much space? Are schools the only spaces in our towns and villages? These are simple questions which we parents are asking on behalf of our children. We need an answer from our big bro, Jega.

Mentioning Jega makes the whole thing an irony. He is a professor, a former union leader, former vice chancellor and a very popular person. The Minister too is a professor and a mother. Both of them are from areas where education deserves the greatest attention. How could these academics fail to uphold the sanctity of learning above politics? Above the two is another academic, the President, Dr. Goodlluck Jonathan. If this directive were given by a military leader like Buhari in the 1980s, we would have a 'kongi' ascribing it to the insensitivity of military dictatorship. But what do we say now when three professors connive to deprive our poor children of a whole month of learning?

Someone had questioned the constitutionality of the order. Does the federal government have exclusive right over the academic calendar given that education is on the concurrent list? It was suggested on one of the yahoo groups that states should disregard the order. Of course none of them would do so with governors begging for a second term, with the need for campaing funds which can be sourced from the millions voted to feed boarding students, etc. Do the governors even care about schools as much as they care about their nominations?

Private and community schools managers are asking why the order must include them when their premises are not going to be used. Woud not government limit its insensitivity to its schools in which, in any case, little learning is taking place?

There are reports that the government has threatened to use force to ensure that all schools have complied, given the violation of the order by some schools in Lagos. One wonders to what extent our government can go to ensure that the wrong thing is done when it remains complacent on serious security challenges.

With this, do we wonder why recent Nigerian certificates suffer from crisis of recognition in some countries?

We hope INEC will not request for another closure during the general elections when more space will be required.

Jega needs to explain to Nigerians why the order is necessary. Jonathan is too busy with how he can win the PDP ticket and counting the billions accruing to him from the coffers of state government. We grant him a leave. The Minister said she simply approved a request. The talking therefore must be done by Jega who made the request. As his staff go to the field for the registration, we hope he will come forward and tell our children why he is keeping them and their teachers idle at home.

Big bro, say something...



Bauchi
8 January 2011

25 comments:

Umar Futiyyu said...

This order shows how self-centered our government officials are and how little they care about the masses. The Minister should save face and reverse the order immediately.

A. Sani said...

This must be a call to all concerned citizens to demand for an answer and a viable solution to all this election palaver. What makes them think that a whole month of education is of less value than a crude and daunting electioneering process!
NUT, NUJ, Labour and all other organizations that claim to be champions for common good should speak out and take a stand on this... , it's no longer a “Siddon Do Noting” affair!

photo said...

Hmm!!! Na ma rasa ta cewa...I am just short of words. My beloved Nigeria...it's obvious that we have a very long way to go.

Anonymous said...

If we are to judge people from rationale thinking then the majority of Profs and PhD's are illiterates. When they are in the universities they are comrades, when in the scene cultivating money they step down their brains. They more one becomes Prof the more dangerous he is in our political circle. Systems theory says no sector tempers with the other, otherwise their is chaos. Keeps economics, political and social spheres apart. But then while they insensitive, will not reverse, Nigerians too would not care to resist. Hope prof. Ruky returns the budgetary allocation for managing the system to the month back to the treasury. But if one can pay to rig election or hire to kill opponents, do you feel he will care about the kids. Welcome Jega to the cult. Are the first children going to be out of school too?

Abubakar said...

If we are to judge people from rationale thinking then the majority of Profs and PhD's are illiterates. When they are in the universities they are comrades, when in the scene cultivating money they step down their brains. They more one becomes Prof the more dangerous he is in our political circle. Systems theory says no sector tempers with the other, otherwise their is chaos. Keeps economics, political and social spheres apart. But then while they insensitive, will not reverse, Nigerians too would not care to resist. Hope prof. Ruky returns the budgetary allocation for managing the system to the month back to the treasury. But if one can pay to rig election or hire to kill opponents, do you feel he will care about the kids. Welcome Jega to the cult. Are the first children going to be out of school too?

Anonymous said...

Kai, thank you Jega,this term will be three months, Iam therefore going to deduct 1/4 of my childrens tuition fees to feed them while they are at home with me,if anything remain I will still buy water and detergents to wash off their dirts. Thank you so much!!!

Anonymous said...

The order has really demonstrated our leaders' attitude towards taking decisions, which they often do abruptly. I call to our leaders who are responsible and accountable before Allah on running our affairs to ponder upon their decisions and weigh them on scale of fairness and objectivity before they even think of implementing them, because their reckless decisions usually passed within couple of minutes could lead to years of unnecessary repercussions on people and the nation.Remember the wise saying "More haste, less speed".May Allah guide our leaders to what is beneficial to the citizenry not their personal benefits ameen. Ibrahim Jibiya

cousellor MZU said...

What about your children in schools abroad? I can't imagine the naivety of our professors when ever the step out of the academic environments. Too bad a decision coming from a former VC and the Education Minister who was a also groomed from the academia

Anonymous said...

Anyone can make a request, with or without a reasonable justification.

So it is from the FME as the apporoving authority, that an explanation or justification for the approval should now be requested.

habiba said...

Sorry,I disagree with all of the above....don't forget that
-theres no such thing as security in NIgeria
-during the exercise all and sundry will troop into these schools to register,will u b comfortable knowing your child is in that environment
-as for schools not being the only spaces,abeg Dr.Tilde tell us where else...
-moreover I feel its only fair to close the private schools as well...use this time to teach ur children for once.
-A whole month of education might b very valuable,but I dont believe its going to mar the children for life

Dantala said...

Thanks a million Habiba. I am please at least some one has a brain to think in the interest of security in the country. We Nigerians like to complain about almost everything, no thinking just complain. Well done Jega.

Anonymous said...

The issue of security is paramount as per as Nigeria is concerned.Looking at the ways and manners at which ritual killings and kidnappings or even Bomb blast, i'm totally agree with Jega and minister of education for taking such decision since the schools are the only possible places for this important exercise for now.

However, i advise the authority concern to address the issue of insecurity in the country and make adequate arrangement for a more permanent solution to this problem so that our schools are not interrupted for such reasons in the future.

Anonymous said...

Humm, couldn't the voting tables be set up after school and on week ends?

abubakar said...

Really the closure is too long but certainly it is in the best interest of the children because polling stations are places of violence,no parent would want his child to be around that kind of area.Not only schools parents should be very vigilant and monitor strictly the movements of their kids because these politicians are very desperate.We pray for a free,peaceful & fair election.

Anonymous said...

Salam,
I see the rationale in the closure of secondary schools as their accomodations could possibly be used to hose the registration officers in an attempt to secure them for hungry politicians that might go to any length to bribe them, but for primary schools, I have some questions over that too. Both INEC and FME have the issue of security to contend with so please give them this benefit of doubt. However, Dr. Tilde and any well meaning nigerian shall be concerned about the academic loss to our children vis a vis the need to conduct a proper or near proper registration excercise. In anycase, lets pray the end wil justify the means.
ma'assalam,
Balarabe Getso.

Anonymous said...

Salam, some corrections pls.
I see the rationale in the closure of secondary schools as their accomodations could possibly be used to house the registration officers in an attempt to secure them against hungry politicians that might go to any length to bribe them, but for primary schools, I have some questions over that too. Both INEC and FME have the issue of security to contend with so please give them this benefit of doubt. However, Dr. Tilde and any well meaning nigerian shall be concerned about the academic loss to our children vis a vis the need to conduct a proper or near proper registration excercise. In anycase, lets pray the end will justify the means.
ma'assalam,
Balarabe Getso.

Abubakar said...

Nigerians are trully politicians. Our discussions truly points to that. I thought for ages central locations at the entrance of traditional ruling houses were used for such events. I an certain you might have 1001 sugesstions as to locations than to shut the schools for a month. I asked nobody ansered me. Were are the children of GEJ going to be during this one months?

Anonymous said...

How far about their children who are studying abroad, will they join the ones in Nigeria???.

Anonymous said...

THE GOOD LORD SHALL CONTINUE TO BE OUR SHEPHERD!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I find it difficult to believe that Jega was privy to "the request to shut down the schools for the period of the registration". If he was then it is a disaster of monumental proportion if someone like Jega will be in the group of those who commit class suicide; those who "suddenly see the larger picture".

Me think everything should be planned taking into consideration that education is sacrosanct which must not be disrupted under any condition in the control of man. Sister Habiba would need to consider issues in their proper context.

Anonymous said...

It just shows our leaders are not interested in the education of the populace ... a trend that has been getting worse since the 1990s.

Why would they when they can spirit theirkids abroad for education while they keep the majority illiterate, canon fodder for their political violence

Dogara said...

Thanks Sheikh Tilde. I will refer us to an article titled "WHY SCHOOLS SHOULD NOT SHUT DOWN FOR 3 WEEKS by
by Zainab Sandah on her facebook page http://www.facebook.com/zainabsandah>

Nigeria desperately require deliverance from this insidiously pervasive degeneration of our values and norms.

Ibrahim M. Attahir said...

That is why I pity Jega. He is well-known; he is an academician; he is said to to be honest; he is this; he is that. But the problem of Nigeria is that once you reach the top, they hardly allow you to think. They put you in "cage" and control your thinking. It is not surprising that the 3 big academicians make this blunder. Is this the first time we are registering voters? Why do we always bring unnecessary changes that help in creating confusion? The registration is mostly done in front of house of village head or in any place the polling station is located. Schools are used only in few places.

Anonymous said...

AI Yahaya
Dr Tilde and all who commented wasted their precious time that could be used to pray for forgiveness to your sin.Remember, politics and politicians in our country are all gimmick,with lots of insincerity and lost of fear of almighty.Remember,politics is not meant for the poor to proliferate,but for the powerful to progress.Do you think these power mongers care about our kids?Whether in or out of school, these people are hungry, always looking for the blood of those who have not for them to survive.They kill our childred, kidnap,and sexually abuse them all because thier mallams promised them victory.Remember,Allah is watching!We are also watching and praying!The blood of those killed,and the hunger of those deprived,will never be let down!This is Allah's promised!Let them do the little they could,but Allah is great!

Hamid Bashir said...

What security are we talking about? Is it not just registration exercise? Are we talking about elections? There is no way to justify such action be it security wise or whatever, it only shows how leadership has been turned to dictatorship. Something of this nature requires the Minister to meet with all the stake holders and debate extensively on it. And the stake holders must include PTA, Student leaders and so on. Being a Minister does not mean that you know everything and can always take decisions on your own. Unless we the masses get this implanted in our minds and hearts, this is how decisions-be it Economic, security, cultural, political and so on-will continue to be taken and Nigeria will never progress. Take it from me.