It is not disputable that Jonathan’s government was marred by laissez-faire attitude towards fight against corruption, but his regime was much serious about education in Nigeria than Buhari’s, more especially in the North.
Goodluck Jonathan had advocated for the “Education For All” which led to the full implementation of the Universal Basic Education with a revamped curriculum.
Even on the fight against terrorism, Jonathan spent much money and trusted the Northerners for ensuring terrorism comes to an end, but was sabotaged by corrupt people who he trusted to send terrorists packing.
Goodluck Jonathan understood that to fight terrorism, you first tackle educational issues. Fight against terrorism is more ideological than physical combat from the onset.
Thus, educated populace could hardly cow themselves into Boko haram recruits.
With the creation of awareness campaigns via media and the traditional methods, last administration tried to bring sanity into the North by trying to deradicalise the populace.
On Almajiri urchins that are made as a venture into religious values not minding the system’s long term negative effect on the psychosocial development of the masses, Professor Ruqaiyah, when she was the minister of Education under Jonathan’s administration, fashioned the almajiri model schools to curtail the menace of sending children into villages and cities to beg in the name of education.
This was piloted as one of the interventions to end the preponderance of begging that leads to increase in poverty and nonproductive adults.
Though she was suspended for her unflinching support for Lamido who had political rift with Jonathan, she wasn’t incompetent, and perhaps she could be rated best Education Minister since 2007 till date, her legacies still manifest on Nigeria’s education.
Ruqaiyah pioneered the proposal on school feeding which APC now hoots with, despite its failure and loopholes due to inaccuracies in feasibility and pilot studies (check the National Policy on Education, 2013).
On making education free and compulsory, N15 billion was expended in the last administration to reform Almajiri Schools. Unfortunately, under Buhari’s draconian policies and leadership incompetence coupled with his inability to see reason to sack incompetent ministers, the schools built with such stupendous money are now in ruins. “The state of the Almajiri integrated model Schools built during the tenure of former President Goodluck Jonathan has deteriorated” reported DailyTrust.
Today, Buhari is only proud of the unflinching support he derives from people who think virtue is the only solution to myriad of Nigeria’s problems and system failure which he contributes. If the Hon.
Speaker of the House of Representatives blasts Buhari of “neglecting Almajiri” he’s right on a fact check.
Buhari’s government does care less about progressive education but a shadow war on insurgency and “pight against karapshin” which itself is a fight against opposition.
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