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Thursday, January 18, 2018

A Public School in 1968 Northern Nigeria

This is a picture of the football team of my alma mater in 1968. Government Secondary School Ganye. Though not the best then in Northern Nigeria - it was just a provincial secondary school - yet, the appearance of these students can only be compared today with those of the best elite private schools in the country.
When we visited the school four years ago for its 50 years anniversary, I took a tour of the surroundings. While the old buildings remain intact with the same Louvres and ceiling fans for fifty years, the comprehensive sports complex that hosted all sorts of athletic competition is now a guinea corn farm, though I could still dig out the old kerbs that defined the track and football field. Just a grading and some deposits of laterite sand will return it to its former shape. The same with the hockey field.
Similarly, the courts of long tennis, basket ball and volley ball have all been abandoned, overtaken by bush, thought the floor of the basketball pitch is still intact and could easily be used with just two days of cleaning and repair.
It became clear to me that the teachers and officials there no longer care to use the facilities, thus allowing them to waste away. They would rather turn them into farms.
The "new" playing grounds built when the school was converted to FGC were just for contract sake. They aren't one-tenth the quality of the old ones built in 1961 and abandoned by the authorities.
Surely, we are the architects of our problems. We failed to keep public trust and work hard. The present generation has every right to vent their anger on public officials.
Dr. Aliyu U. Tilde

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