Bauchi: Merit Schools—The Dawn is Here
Today, the principals of Bauchi State boarding secondary schools under the Ministry of Education met with Ministry officials to discuss issues related to their transition into Merit Schools.
Of particular importance was the issue of standard of the schools that is being scaled up through the provision of very good teachers, bright students and improvement in their infrastructure that the Ministry will embark upon soon, in addition to provision of boarding, instructional and safeguard materials.
Then comes the issue of routines for their students. The revival of the old practice is intended to cultivate self discipline through regimental school life as we once enjoyed (see details below). They have definite activities to carry out from dawn to lights out when all will be quiet.
Academically, the students will undergo rigorous training from the best teachers available with weekly assignments of certificate standard in every subject and monthly C.A. tests. Inter school quiz organized by Bauchi State University will hold in the zones before culminating at the finale in Bauchi, just as would the sports activities.
Once a child is admitted to the boarding school, there is no going back to day school. The child deserves the huge investment that government will put (N135,000 to feed each student per annum apart from other expenses) in order to transform him into a citizen of formidable relevance to the society. I have been battling with parents on this since last week, with tears sometimes flowing down the chin of the girls especially. I console them by enumerating the benefits and what they will achieve of success in the future.
Twenty years ago, I narrated to each of them, I would descend on a school and pick the brightest among the students, amidst tears, and ‘ship’ them to one of the three model schools we were establishing then during the Mu’azu era. Today, we witness the benefit of that effort and my common name among the thousands of them is ‘uncle’, not ‘abductor’. Today, they are proud of their teachers just as their teachers are proud of them.
So, this is a familiar path. Very familiar. And we will tread it to success, God willing, even though the number is not three like in 2000 but anything between 15 and 22. With merit, sincerity, hard work and technology, I think we can handle it to success gradually. From their response, the principals are as convinced as myself. We will give the “Special Schools” a hot chase, God willing.
To God be the grace and gratitude. One of the two reasons why I accepted to be a commissioner—establishment of Merit Schools—is coming to fruition. The dawn is here. If three could give such huge impact, twenty-two will certainly change the entire manpower landscape in the state.
The other is adoption of phonics in our primary schools, for which I have gotten approval of His Excellency, the Governor, last year. What remains is the opportunity. It will remarkably transform learning in our primary schools. We started it in 2005 but the effort was not carried through after 2007. Some development partners have also put in their effort. We are grateful. However, a wholistic approach that will cover the entire state is needed to bring it to the doorstep of every pupil in the state.
Please carry me along in your prayer before the Almighty. Ask Him, on behalf of this poor soul, to make both dreams real. In his Hands, everything is possible.
A. DAILY ROUTINES
1. Pre-dawn bell
2. Dawn bell
3. Cleaning of hostel and classrooms
4. Assembly/Classes (bell)
5. Breakfast (bell)
6. Classes (bell)
7. Short break (bell)
8. Closure (bell)
9. Lunch (bell)
10. Siesta (bell)
11. Afternoon Prep (bell)
12. Games (bell)
13. Dinner (bell)
14. Evening Prep (bell)
15. Bed check (bell)
16. Lights out (bell)
B. WEEKLY ROUTINES
1. Monday Assembly
2. Thursday Assembly
3. Weekly assignments in all subjects
4. Labour hour
6. Outing (Friday and Sunday for boys)
C. MONTHLY ROUTINES
1. Monthly C.A. test in all subjects
2. Interhouse inspection competition
3. Family visit (for girls only)
D. TERMLY ROUTINE
1. End of Term exams
E. SESSIONAL ROUTINES
1. Promotion Exams
2. Interhouse sports competition
3. Interschool Quiz finals
4. Send-forth party for SS3
Dr. Aliyu U. Tilde
Commissioner of Education
25 January 2021