Monday , 19 August 2019
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R-L: Gov Shettima, President Muhammadu Buhari during a recent visit by the president to the state to commission educational and other projects executed by the Shettima’s adminstration*

Realizingg the role education would play in nipping the scourge of insurgency in the bud, the Governor Kashim Shettima- led Borno state government has embarked on a holistic educational turn-around capable of giving the state’s school kids unrivalled advantage in their quest for quality education. The state introduced the Indian-modeled Knowledge-YAN (KYAN) as the new vehicle of learning in the state thus all the new 44 mega schools newly built and commissioned in the state are K-YAN enabled.
‘’We bought each K-YAN tablet at a cost of $50 for every pupil and for $1.6m dollars we were able to get 1000 classrooms access to digital education because we want to use this advanced technology as the major vehicle to drive our next education push. We not only provided these mega structures but we are embarking on a total education overhaul in order to achieve our set purpose of eradicating poverty, illiteracy and curbing insurgency’’ the state governor said.

Knowledge-Yan, popularly known as K-Yan, is an integrated community computer that functions as a computer, projector, and television. K-Yan was developed in a collaboration between IL&FS Education and Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay. The product was created to provide a solution to classrooms that suffered from having too few computers to share effectively among students. K-Yan allows teachers to interactively display information to a whole class.
The K-Yan has several features that enables it to facilitate effective use of technology in the classroom in group settings. It can be used to surf and download educational material from the internet, and can be used as a large screen television to view educational programs and videos. The K-Yan has a built-in DVD/CD writing tool that can be used to share resources such as teacher lesson plans. Built-in web cameras and microphones allow the K-Yan to be used to facilitate distance learning and interaction across communities, irregardless of geographic distance. The K-Yan can also be used as a server, which reduces the cost of establishing PC-based learning centers in schools. It can simultaneously be used as a computer, thereby improving overall operational and administrative efficiencies within schools.
K-Yan supports learning in English and 18 local languages and comes pre-programmed with educational curriculum and provides and immersive teaching-learning platform for students and teachers.
To curb the look warm attitude to the education of the girl-child ,the state governor has also provided a bicycle for every girl enrolled in school as a means of transportation to and from school. ’’The idea is to make school going attractive. Every class has an air-conditioner, a fan and a digital board for all classes which has storage facilities that keeps every lecture and allow students to revisit whatever was taught by the teacher at a later date or during preparation for exams.The KYAN gave India a big push in education and sciences and we hope it will give the Borno kids a great head start in life’’ he added.

*A Borno model school*

Governor Shettima also explained that 44(forty four) teachers were taken to India for intensive training on
KYAN teaching modalities, who will in turn train the others.’To ensure constant power supply, the state provided a 33KVA and solar facility for every school, while ten(10) engineers go round the schools daily to ensure quality maintenance of the facilities.Under the #Rebuilding Borno’ agenda of his administration, what could best be described as the greatest investment in the educational sector in any part of the country has seen the Borno State government investing heavily on the building of 44 new mega schools, which are being built for 54,000 kids orphaned as a result of insurgency in the state in its first phase. The schools which will comprise both primary and secondary schools are spread across the three senatorial districts in the state. With a minimum of 20 classrooms that have been designed to enroll at least 2000 pupils in each of the schools, all buildings boast of state of the art facilities in classes and can best be described as sophisticated.

It suffices to also state that the schools are rare works of architecture in relaxed English educational style of building. The schools are modern, yet user-friendly with sporting facilities and incorporating traditional structures. The quality of materials used from start to finish such as roofs, doors, tiles, air condition systems, lights, parapets, boards, underline the seriousness of the Shettima administration to making life meaningful for the orphans in the state.


* A model classroom in Borno*

All schools have a nature-influenced airiness achieved with brick, lofty windows, marbles, colourful paints and sometimes terracotta. A visit to the schools underscores the seriousness with which the Borno State government attaches to acquisition of education for the underprivileged.
For instance, at the Modern Mega Orphanage School, located in 202 area of Maiduguri, majestic might just be a word but it aptly captures the ecstatic beauty and ambience that characterizes the imposing structure located few meters opposite the University of Maiduguri. With separate hostels for both male and female pupils, expansive dining halls, comfortable classes, common rooms, kitchen, toilets etc, it is clear that the school which is almost 95% complete will address the dwindling fortunes of education in the state by boosting enrollment in schools. Shettima, whose achievements in Borno State despite the challenges and setbacks caused by insurgency remain legendary and beats the imaginations of Borno people and visitors, said except the present generation of leaders look to the future and invest heavily in education, the quest for sustainable nation building would be lost.
“Our vision and long term plan is to make private schools in Borno less attractive than the public schools . And the strategy for us is to ensure that the environment for learning is not only conducive and attractive but one that also adds value to the lives of the pupils there such that as they grow, they begin to appreciate society and brace up to challenge their peers from other parts of the world as the facilities we are providing are world class.
“I am particular about education as I know that it holds and remains the key to tackling poverty, emancipating people and of course creating wealth in the long run. Lessons have been learnt from the past and there will be no gaps whatsoever for anyone to take advantage of our people. And we must begin to be futuristic. If we do not invest for instance in quality education for these younger ones, imagine what the future holds for the society too. We will feed them, clothe them, accommodate them as they are our responsibilities and it will cost us funds but in the years to come I tell you , one can only look back and have contentment as the positive impact it would have would then not be measurable in terms of money spent”, Governor Shettima emphasized.

The mega schools designed to accommodate 54,000 school children displaced by Boko Haram is not just an ecstatic beauty but clearly a project that depicts a paradigm shift to the ‘the new world’ in Borno’s educational strides. “We have an official number of over 54,000 orphans in Borno State. Unofficially, the orphans may number over 100,000. Half of them may be in Maidugiri. Without educating these youths, they will be monsters that will consume all of us. It is a very huge challenge but we shall overcome it”, Shettima added.
To further ensure that the educational projects deliver the desired results, the state government, with the assistance of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), has trained about 7,169 teachers who are now set to take education in Borno to the admirable level. At a meeting with USAID officials recently in Maiduguri, it was revealed that the teachers had undergone tutelage on modern classroom and pupils-centered teaching methodologies in five local government areas of Borno including Biu, Jere, Kaga, Konduga and Miaduguri Metropolitan Council. The exercise was supervised and monitored by the Borno State commissioner for Education, Musa Inuwa Kubo.
Governor Shettima’s heavy investment in education and the introduction of ICT-based learnmig module may yet be his greatest gift to his Borno people as they seek an escape from years of insurgency and destruction of educational facilities.
• Femi Ige is Managing Director/CEO of Centerpiece Media& Communications Ltd, Publishers of The State Online and The State magazine

About Mikail Mumuni