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Quiet Revolution In Public Education On The Plateau



Plateau education

Citizens’ confidence in public school education in Plateau State had been eroded due to factors including security challenges, incessant strike actions, poor quality of the workforce, and very low ranking in the national examination, among others.

Although there is no verifiable record to measure the impacts of the challenges on education, it is generally believed that the development forced many citizens who can afford it to enroll their wards in private schools.

Upon coming on board in the last year, the State Governor Caleb Mutfwang promised to rekindle citizens’ confidence in public schools hence he began the processes of raising the quality of education in the State across all tiers of institutions with emphasis on science and technology.

The Governor approved intervention projects under the Adolescent Girls Initiative for Learning and Empowerment (AGILE), a State government project with support from the Federal Ministry of Education and the World Bank.

Within the period, there has been intervention in 170 schools for the renovation of 682 classrooms, provision of Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene, WASH facilities through the drilling of boreholes and construction of toilets, provision of ICT equipment and school furniture.

Mohammed Nyalun, the Commissioner of Secondary Education disclosed the Governor has paid “The backlog of school fees for six years amounting to N40,600,000.00 for Plateau indigenes schooling at National Mathematical Centre Abuja.

“The Governor restored the suspended employment of 989 Teaching and 200 non-teaching staff to fill existing shortages in manpower in the public schools.”

To improve tertiary education too, the Governor provided for the accreditation of expired programmes across the State-owned tertiary institutions.

In March 2024, a 69-man National Board for Technical Education, NBTE team visited the State Polytechnic at Barkin Ladi to accredit 31 OND/HND programmes and also verify some institutional administration.

The Acting Rector of the Institution, Dr. Clement Chirman commended the Governor for his interest in repositioning the education sector and noted “This is to ensure that the students have the assurance of receiving a quality education that will make them relevant in providing skills and expertise to society upon graduation.

“The accreditation exercise was possible by Governor Mutfwang’s strong passion for Polytechnic education which he demonstrated by providing the needed funds to meet up with the required standard of the NBTE.” 

Similarly, the Acting Provost of the College of Education, Gindiri, Asso. Professor Lazarus Maigoro added, “We had the accreditation exercise last month. The accreditation status of the institution had expired for the second year running.

“The Regulatory Body, the National Commission for Colleges of Education, NCCE was threatening sanctions so I rushed to the Governor and he directed us to commence the process for the accreditation exercise which he funded fully.”

The State Commissioner for Higher Education, Dr. Kachollom Gang maintained commendable efforts are ongoing in all State-owned tertiary institutions.

These include Plateau State University, Bokkos; Plateau State Polytechnic Barkin Ladi; College of Education, Gindiri; College of Nursing and Midwifery, Vom; College of Agriculture, Garkawa; College of Arts, Science and Technology, Kurgwi; College of Health Technology, Zawan, and College of Health Technology, Pankshin.

She noted, “There has been a reduction of 50% Tuition Fee to Plateau indigenes in State-owned Tertiary Institutions as palliative to reduce the effect of the economic hardship caused by the oil subsidy removal.

“Course programmes have recently been accredited in the Plateau State University, Bokkos; College of Health Technology, Pankshin; College of Nursing and Midwifery, Vom; College of Agriculture, Garkawa; College of Education, Gindiri; Plateau State Polytechnic, Barkin Ladi.

“There has been the payment for 2022, 2023, and 2024 IJMB Examinations for College of Arts, Science and Technology, Kurgwi; settlement of 2022/2023 and 2023/2024 Law School Students Fees for Plateau State indigenes.

“The scholarship for our students studying in higher institutions within the country has been reviewed by 300%. Through the intervention of the Governor, the State is discussing with some institutions abroad for capacity building in critical areas through the award of scholarships.

“The outstanding 44 months salaries of ad hoc staff in the tertiary institutions have been paid. The Colleges of Health Technology have succeeded in commencing the process of indexing the backlog of students who have been unable to write their final examinations.”

Citizens look forward to having an overhauled education sector that returns the State to its pride of place in the nation’s education sector.

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