Education: Why Kano ancestors stoned Driver Gwalagwaje, Part IV


This entry is part 4 of 4 in the series Gwalagwaje

The verdicts that came in from Nafarko and my humble self prompted Barbushe to call for the stoning of Gwalagwaje by Kano ancestors

There and then Nafarko raised up his hand in protest against what Gwalagwaje just narrated. Sensing blood, Barbushe gave him the floor…

Belling the cat

Nafarko stood and commenced, “There is no iota of truth in any of the things Gwalagwaje has just listed. Education today is worse than as he met it in 2195.

“Apart from policising education,” Nafarko fumed, “where recruitments, promotions and appointments are based on cronyism, the so-called ‘free’ education Gwalagwaje’s administration is offering our children is not free and a little bit better than none.”

“Secondly,” Nafarko continued, “there is a dearth of teachers in the state, with a shortage of over 60 percent. Most of the ones available are not even qualified in the first place.

“There is also a lack of enough and qualitative teaching materials in primary and secondary schools in the state.” Nafarko mentioned how schools in Dalaland are not provided with teaching materials like chalks, registers, textbooks, teaching aids. “Most of the times,” he said, “school heads and classroom teachers had to provide these from their meagre salaries, which are not even stable.”

The mother of all problems according to Nafarko is the “lack of enough classrooms that gave rise to afternoon shifts, which are waste of time and resources.

“There is also too much corruption in the system from a to z,” he continued. And he added that the recent deboarding of schools in the state, where the government cited spurious security challenges, will further bring about 50 percent or more of decline.

“I could go on and on listing the problems my dear ancestors,” Nafarko concluded. “But I want to give rooms to others to refute or support what I have said. I rest my case with this parting words, ‘Gwalagwaje is the worst thing that had ever happened to education in Dalaland.’”

As Nafarko sat down, another wave of silence swept through the gathering.

The verdict

Even after hearing the second damning testament, Gwalagwaje and his supporters were not suppressed. They were still murmuring and haranguing from their quarters.

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Having heard enough, Barbushe stood up again for the last time and called out, “Gwalagwaje step forward!”

As Aunty was trying to stand up and walk beside Gwalagwaje, Barbushe gave her a wicked stare which made her to stay back on her seat.

“Gwalagwaje, we are going to give you one last chance,” Barbushe said looking around at the greyed old men and women who had woken up from their graves just to come and rescue the education sector of Dalaland.

“Are you guilty of these accusations?!”

With a quiver in his voice, Gwalagwaje said, “I… we… did… this….that….” Then he shook his head and screamed, “I am not guilty. I… am the best… Dalaland had ever had since its history of formation.”

Gwalagwaje looked across the platform and set his fiery eyes on me. “Umaru Tanko, what are your take on all these backs and forth?”

I stood up and cleared my throat and said, “I will move a motion for us to adjoin our session to another day, dear ancestors.”

And there and then, my friend Aminu Kano seconded the motion. But when the motion was put to a voice vote, “the nays have it”.

Hence, Barbushe commanded me to make my verdict. And thus, here is my take:

Curbing the rot

My dear ancestors, primary and secondary schools in Dalaland are now mushroom centres of learning; close to nothing comes forth from them.

Nowadays, most products of such schools cannot even write their names, a letter, nor construct a good speech in English.

These students then move on to tertiary institutions whose tutors then bake them as they are and just ‘let my people go’.

Parents to blame 

Parents also have a portion of the blame. Most of them refuse to send their wards to qualified schools during their budding stages, even though they have the means.

I know of a parent who removed his ward from a private school where he pays N4,500 per term just because the school increased its fees by N1,000. But this is a person that spends more than N1,000 daily in the house.

Now, when these children finish secondary education, their parents will now be willing to pay exorbitant fees to enroll them in extra-mural classes, get them expo and bribe the children’s ways through tertiary institutions. 

Why? Just to get them favourable certificates.

But by then, the upstairs are empty, the foundations feeble.

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When these children graduate from the higher institutions, their parents further use their leverages and pull connections to get them public appointments, ‘even if it is teaching’.

Now, who will teach whom? The teachers or the pupils?

“Yaro baya daukan yaro. Sai dai rungume ni mu fadi,” goes a Hausa adage.

And so the circles of decadence continue. Half-baked teachers producing quarter-baked students who in the future will bake uncooked products.

And as it seems, we are already in the future. Unless something drastic is done to arrest the retrogression.

Borrowing a leaf

When Driver Gajere of Kadawa state came on board, he found the root, stem and branches of the education sector of his state rotten. What did he do? 

He pulled out the whole tree and planted a new one in its stead.

There were hullabaloos all over the country. But he stood his ground. But right now, the state is enjoying the fruits of this surgical operation. 

Dalaland needs this kind of wholistic approach. 

Although it might take years for the tree to germinate; in the least, 10 years hence, we can start eating its fruits.

Half bread is better than none!

Who will bell the cat?

Drastic measures can only be taken by courageous leaders. People like Driver Gajere. 

But as you are all aware Gwalagwaje has issues with Gajere and hence is not in talking terms with the latter. 

If not, we would have suggested he migrates to Kadawa state for a four-week leadership crash course… Just the way Kyankyaso did in Birnin Ikko…

Inconsistent policy makers 

Since Gwalagwaje mounted the seated of Africa Motel, there has been inconsistent policy in the education sector. 

Take the academic calendar issue for an instance. Since the year 2195, no academic calendar is final. 

As an administrator, school owner, parent, teacher or student, you should always expect changes to the calendar, even if it is two weeks to the end of a term.

Policy makers refuse to look beyond their noses in order to anticipate Ramadan crisscrossing a term. 

Or in the cases where they see the need to readjust a calendar, they seem to forget that they are dealing with humans not animals. And hence the need to see corrections, effect same and communicate to the stakeholders at least five weeks to the conclusion of a term.

And where and when the need for the change is frivolous or not a necessity Driver Gwalagwaje and his officials seem not to have the balls to withstand lobbying from Aunty and her cohorts and stick to their original plan.

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Rather you see them dishing out eleventh hour directives to schools, and administrators will be running helter skelter to conform with the change.

I rest my case here dear ancestors…

The stoning of Gwalagwaje

It was a very long night after the crowd finished listening to my very long verdict. It seems my narration further moved Barbushe to understand that the education sector need salvaging from the hands of Gwalagwaje.

Barbushe tried to find his feet and moved a motion himself. “Gwalagwaje has desecrated this holy place and looked down upon his ancestors by stepping forward here to regurgitate lies to us.

“If he is used to lying to his followers, he shouldn’t do that here. We gave birth to him. We are his ancestors.

“Seize him and bring him up here!”

There and then Gwalagwaje was grabbed and forced to the top of the dais, with his babbar riga shred into pieces. He was tied at the foot of the hill.

We stood askance when we saw Barbushe bending down to pick up pebbles. “What is he going to do now?” We muttered to ourselves.

He counted, “one, two, three” up to “fifteen”. Next, he ordered us all to pick 15 pebbles. We all did.

Then with a cry that came out from no where, he lifted one of the pebbles and flung at Gwalagwaje. “This is our new Rotten Head!”

Then he flung another one again, “From today onwards, on the second day of eid, come to this spot and stone this Rotten Head.”

He carried another pebble and flung at Gwalagwaje again. He repeated, repeated and repeated until he exhausted all the stones in his hand. And then he ordered us all to follow suit.

And we all did.

Including Aunty, Garaugarau, Audu and even Dan Ibro!

Since that day we will always stone any reckless driver of Dalaland at the foot of Dala for deliverance.

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Faruk Ahmed

Faruk Ahmed is the founder of Memorila.com. Having previously worked with National Review magazine, he is a keen watcher of political events.

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