By Rabi’u Omaku,Lafia
Better days awaits female students studying in Nasarawa State owned tertiary institutions as the State Governor ,Umaru Tanko Al-Makura proclaimed that female students accommodation would be accorded topmost priority if the ongoing hostel accommodation are completed, he gave the disclosure during an inspection to the Nasarawa State University,Keffi to ascertain the progress of project, Al-Makura lamented over the plight faced by female students especially those at off -campus.
“The preponderances of female students while crossing the highway are quite challenging”, He read riot act to the construction firm handling the ongoing project to keep to contractual agreement or risk revocation of contract, The Governor similarly inspected the ongoing hostel project at the State Polytechnic, Lafia.
The holistic approach of the State Government to embark on the construction of hostel accommodation to the State owned tertiary institution can be described as paradigm shift, the twin hostel accommodation would house 600 students while the one at the State University will accommodates over 400 students, The worst of all was the absence of hostel since the establishment of the school in 2000 by the first executive Governor, Abdullahi Adamu who converted the famous missionary school to institution of higher learning.
The total absence of hostel accommodation in Nasarawa State Polytechnic, Lafia and other tertiary institutions contributed to the rising spate of criminality and cult activities leading to the death of innocent souls, The absence or shortage of hostel accommodation has multiplier effect on parents and female students as colossal amount of money were charged by landlords, This situation compels female students to prostitution and other social vices.
One of the institutions that witnessed a bumper harvest in the last four years include the Nasarawa Polytechnic which had accreditation of its Higher National Diploma programmes in Estate Management, Computer Science and among others, another frantic steps taken was the absence of convocation at all the tertiary institutions which were established since the State were still in the old Plateau state.
While the report of the College of Agriculture, Lafia was not different being that the school has been existing for the past twenty years but without convocation rendering students hapless as all results obtained are mere statement of result, while in College of Education, Akwamga Governor Al-Makura tackle the lingering leadership tussle in the College, all the success story in all the institutions may not be unconnected to the report of the visitation panel.
Despite the success story in Nasarawa State Polytechnic and other institutions in the state, The Polytechnic for instance is in dire need of academic staff to man the affairs of the, as it authoritatively revealed that the acute shortage of academic staff is seriously affecting the academic performance ,insider unveiled that the worst department is Mass Communication, Urban and Regional Planning, to mention but a few, in spite of the numerous challenges facing higher institutions in the State, Governor Al-Makura no doubt remains the game changer.
Governor Al-Makura has set a standard for others to follow, the massive establishment of Taal Models schools as well as the mass renovation of schools is worthy of emulation as 65,000 desk were awarded for onward distribution to Junior Secondary and Primary schools, the government also succeeded in addressing open defecation in public school, which was one of the problems of schools in the State. The perils of open defecation and insecurity was one of the reason constructed perimeter fences at the Government Girls Secondary School Garaku all to end invasion of the women dominated school.
The Governor in a bid to bring succor to parents has implemented the free education policy, despite the huddles facing the policy due to the inaction of principals extorting money from students, the free education policy is indeed at the right direction, the enormous challenges needed an ardent attention by the government, the State government should swing into action by ensuring a level playing ground for the headships of government.
It is time that the Governor should provide enough foodstuff to boarding schools to avoid untimely break and vacations as well as the building of more classrooms as the number of school enrollment will rise at a geometric progression. The state government should also provide continuous assessment dossiers and booklet to government schools to ensure effective and efficient service delivery.