Students are unique in society for one simple reason: education plays a vital role in all aspects of society and is primarily responsible for the advancement of civilization as we know it. Education is the foundation of modern society, and this is visible in a variety of ways.
Education has a wide range of effects on society, from improving people’s quality of life to fostering the development of talented individuals capable of changing the world. Students pursuing an education should be greatly aided by these. But, for Yahaya Bello, it goes beyond just supporting students; he ensures that they are well-equipped to meet their academic obligations. He is also making sure their schooling time is not interrupt for a day.
To begin with, while many of our children across the country are worried about the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) regular strike, students at Prince Audu Abubakar University are only concerned with their studies. They have no business dealing with strikes of any kind. Yahaya Bello’s schools have joined the ranks of a few schools in Nigeria that operate on interrupted academic calendars. Governor Bello did it for the sake of the students.
I doubt that any government could be more favorable to students than Yahaya Bello’s – this is because the governor is still a very young man who left school not long ago and is still up to date on the current schooling situations of the students.
When I found out about Yahaya Bello’s relationship with students and the educational sector of Kogi state, I felt like going back to university, maybe as an undergraduate again. Being a student under Bello’s administration is better experienced than imagined.
Let me start with what Bello has done to the education sector in Kogi in the few years he has been in power. For those who travel Okene Road, I know that the edifice located in Osara along the federal expressway is something that brings a smile to your face every time you pass by. This is one of Nigeria’s newest universities. The governor’s Confluence University of Science and Technology is a world-class learning institution that has matriculated its first batch of students at the time of writing this book, resulting in the creation of approximately 5,000 direct and indirect jobs for Nigerians.
Since Bello’s election as governor of Kogi State, education has risen to the top of the budgetary priority list, with its allocation increasing year after year. The administration has increased the education sector’s budgetary allocation from 20% in 2021 to 30% in the fiscal year 2022.
The governor increased the bursary allowance of Kogi state indigenes in tertiary institutions by 300 percent in April 2018, with immediate payment to registered students for the 2017/2018 academic session. This improved the standard of living for Kogi students across the country, allowing them to meet their basic needs as students while focusing on their studies.
As we approached 2022, only the Kogi education sector received an emergency declaration because Yahaya Bello wants nothing less than the best for the students. The goal was to restore the state’s lost glory in education, as it had been in the days of the Northern Region and Kabba Province.
As I write, the Kogi State University, recently renamed Prince Audu Abubakar University, has become one of the best higher education institutions in Nigeria. During the most recent accreditation by the Nigerian University Commission, I discovered that the school was one of the few with 100 percent accreditation.
This is happening during Bello’s tenure, and I believe the governor is doing all of this because of the importance he places on students.
One area in which I believe we are failing as a country is education. Except for those from wealthy families who can afford private schools, Nigerian university education has no set graduation date. Unfortunately, it appears that a union strike has become part of our academic calendar. Because of strikes, people have to complete their programs over a longer period of time.
In my opinion, there is a need for a paradigm shift in order to repair our educational system. Consider what Bello has done in Kogi to revitalize the education sector.
Because of his concern for education, Bello invited a Lagos-based secondary school student named Mayowa, who drew a portrait of him and awarded him a lifetime scholarship late last year. Mayowa, a secondary school student, had drawn and uploaded the artwork depicting governor Bello in northern, southern, and eastern attire, connoting the governor’s “unifier” title, on December 21, 2021.
If those Bello has sent to school based on my findings gather, I believe another large school will emerge, similar to Mayowa. They are numerous, but as I observed, the governor would not want everything to be covered by the mainstream media.
Bello’s concern was not limited to the students’ well-being. He has also completed numerous infrastructure projects in order to improve his relationships with students of all levels, including pupils.
He renovated legacy schools throughout the state to meet international standards. He built the Library Extension at Kabba’s Kogi State College of Education (Technical). What about the ongoing construction of GYB Model Primary Schools in the State’s 239 Wards, as well as the completion of the hostel accommodation project at the Government Science Secondary School in Icheke, Omala Local Government Area?
I also confirmed several construction projects attributed to Bello at Kogi State University in Anyigba and Kogi State Polytechnic in Lokoja.
There is hope in Nigeria’s education sector. There is hope for Nigerian students. We look up to 2023. It’s hope23 – it’s Yahaya Bello.