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Year in Review: Major Kano education stories in 2019

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Mukhtar Yahya Usman

The outgoing year 2019 certainly recorded major events in the education sector of Kano state. Issues like sexual harassment in tertiary institutions, declaration  of free and compulsory education by Governor Abdullahi Ganduje as well as abolition of the HND/Degree dichotomy in public service by the Kano state government dominated public discussions in the sector.

Below are some of the issues picked by Kano Focus:

Sexual harassment in tertiary institutions

A number of students in Kano tertiary institutions have experienced the pains of sexual harassment in the hands of staff, particularly academic ones, working in the affected institutions.

In August, a magistrate court remanded the Vice Principal of School of Health Technology Bebeji in prison for five days over allegations of sexually harassing a married student.

The suspect Mas’ud Abdullahi, who had completed his PhD and was about to join the staff of Federal University Dutse, allegedly demanded sex from the student in exchange for marks even though he was aware that she was married.

Mr Abdullahi was arraigned before Magistrate Aminu Fagge, who later granted him bail and released his ID card and vehicle which was confiscated as exhibits.

The court however refused the request to release the mobile phone of the suspect, saying it contained evidence of Mr Abdullahi’s romantic messages sent to the victim.

Another lecturer, Ali Shehu, working with the Kano School of Technology, was also arrested during a sting operation while he reportedly inserted his fingers in the private parts of his female student, whom he had pestered for sex.

Mr Shehu, 36, was arraigned at Kano Chief Magistrates Court and later remanded in prison custody after pleading guilty to the charges of breach of trust and sexual harassment, offenses that contradict sections 95 and 98 of the penal code.

However the Kano State Polytechnic disowned the suspect.

Reacting to the development, registrar of the Polytechnic, Ado Mohammadu expressed shock on the incidence and told journalists that the accused was not a staff of the institution.

The registrar clarified that thought, Shehu was posted from the office of the Head of Service, Kano state on a part-time job with the Polytechnic.

Kwankwaso offers foreign scholarship to 370 First Class graduates

The Kwankwasiyya Development Foundation, in Kano offered foreign scholarship to 370 postgraduate students to study in universities in India and Sudan.

Sen. Rabi’u Kwankwaso, the founder of the foundation and former governor of Kano state, made the disclosure at a send-off party for beneficiaries of the programme in Kano.

He said the foundation had paid all the fees ranging from tuition, accommodation and personal allowances for the beneficiaries as well as their return tickets.

Yusuf Maitama Sule University hold maiden convocation

At least 80 students graduated with first class degrees from Yusuf Maitama Sule University, Kano (YUMSUK) when the university conducted its first, second and third combined convocation ceremony in Kano city.

During the event 755 students graduated with second class upper; 1, 309 got lower second class, while 312 graduated with third class degrees out of a total of 2, 456 students.

Also 527 students were graduates from 2015/2016 session, 693 were from the 2016/2017 academic session, while 1, 236 graduated from 2017/2018 session.

Kano medical students stranded in India over N22m school fees

In February, 14 medical students from Kano State studying in India on the state government’s scholarship with deportation following the failure of the Governor Abdullahi Ganduje’s administration to offset their school fees of about N22 million ($59,200).

The stranded students were among several others placed on foreign scholarships by the administration of former governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso.

The 14 students who were studying medicine in India’s SS Institute of Medical Science and Research Centre (SSIMS and RC), Davanagere, ran into trouble when the state government reportedly declined to clear their outstanding school fees.

Kano University beats UNN, Yaba Tech in national essay competition

The Kano State Univervisity of Science and Technology (KUST) Wudil emerged winner in the National Engineering, Science and Technology Essay Competition (NESTEC) beating University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN) and Yaba College of Technology to the 2nd and 3rd positions respectively.

Ganduje declares free, compulsory education

In May 2019 the Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, declared free primary and secondary education for school-age children in the state.‎

Governor Ganduje made the declaration in his acceptance speech, shortly after being sworn in as Kano State Governor for a second term in.

He promised free and compulsory basic education for all school-age children in Kano.

According to him, tertiary education for Kano indigenes will also be subsidized.

Kano abolishes Degree HND dichotomy

Another development to remember in 2019 is the abolition of the dichotomy between the Higher National Diploma (HND) and Bachelors’ degree holders in the state.

Ganduje made this known during the workers day celebrations at Sani Abacha Stadium.

According to Ganduje, his administration will continue to give priority to the welfare of civil servants and all residents of the state.

The Kano branch National Labour Congress (NLC) chairman Kabiru Ado Minjibir, appealed to the state government to implement payment of allowances for workers of state tertiary institution as applicable to their colleagues in the Federal civil service.

Ganduje pays N2bn debt for Kano students in Sudan University

Kano State Government settled over N2 billion outstanding fees of its students in El-Razi University in Sudan.

The state government said the debt was incurred by the administration of ex-governor Rabiu Kwankwaso.

Ganduje said he inherited the students from the previous administration with a lot of money to be paid.

The governor added that the administration also paid over N300 million to Cyprus University to enable students sponsored by the state to complete their programmes.‎

Kano School of Nursing upgraded to degree awarding institution

The Kano State House of Assembly amended the law establishing the state College of Nursing and Midwifery to enable it commence award of Degree, Diploma and Higher National Diploma (HND).

The House Majority Leader, Alhaji Labaran Abdul-Madari said the college which has been awarding only certificates will now be upgraded to award degrees and other certificates.

According to him, the law will also give the college the opportunity to admit students with five credits, including Mathematics, English and Biology especially those at the rural areas for one year training on nursing and midwifery.

He explained that this will give students from rural areas opportunities to gain knowledge on nursing, so they can help reduce maternal and infant mortality.

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EFCC Grills Rabiu Kwankwaso

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Rabiu Kwankwaso

Nasiru Yusuf

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Saturday grilled former governor of Kano State, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso over allegations of abuse of office, diversion of public funds and fraudulent allocation of government properties to cronies.

KANO FOCUS reports that Kwankwaso, a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, was first invited by the EFCC in September but failed to honour the invitation as reported by Channels TV.

An associate of the politician informed Channels Television that Kwankwanso may have been invited in relation to a petition by some retired employees of the Kano State Government.

The retired employees had told the EFCC that the former governor mismanaged pension remittances to the tune of N10 billion between 2011 and 2015, to fund a housing project for his cronies.

EFCC spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren did not comment on the interrogation of the former governor when contacted on Saturday.

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Crisis rocks Kano APC as Ganduje, Shekarau hold parallel Congress

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Aminu Abdullahi

Crisis rocked Kano chapter of All Progressive Congress (APC), as Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje and faction loyal to former governor of Kano and serving Senator Ibrahim Shekarau held parallel state congress.

KANO FOCUS reports that while Ganduje group held their congress at Sani Abacha stadium, faction loyal to Shekarau had their own at Janguza town, Tofa local government area.

Ganduje’s led group endorsed Abdullahi Abbas as state chairman of APC for a second term in a consensus arrangement, while the faction loyal to Shekarau announced Ahmadu Haruna Zago as newly elected chairman of APC in Kano state.

Reports shows that the security have earlier disrupted Shekarau’s camp congress at Sani Abacha youth centre and sealed the premises before they moved to Janguza where they held the election.

Below are some pictures of the parallel Congress.

Governor Abdullahi Ganduje while voting at Sani Abacha stadium

 

Governor Abdullahi Ganduje with APC chieftains

 

Delegates at Sani Abacha stadium

Ballot box

Factional chairman of Kano APC Ahmadu Haruna Zago

Ahmadu Haruna Zago and Abdilkadir Jobe

APC factional congress at Janguza

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NCC moves to address poor network service at densely populated Kano markets – Prof Danbatta.

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Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta

Nasiru Yusuf

 

The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) Umar Garba Danbatta says the commission will address the poor network at Kantin Kwari, Sabongari Singer and Kurmi markets.

KANO FOCUS reports that Danbatta announced revealed this while responding to complaint raised by a participant at a two day stakeholders consultative meeting tagged ‘talk to the regulator’ organised by Nigerian Communications Commission in Kano.

The complainer noted that that there is poor telecommunications service in Kantin Kwari, Sabongari, Singer and Kurmi markets in Kano metropolitan area.

Danbatta responded that the commission will deploy investigative team to determine the nature of the problem and proffer solution.

Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta

“We have the capacity to monitor the performance of MNOs, that is the most important thing. Because of this valid observation by our stakeholder, we are going to direct our searchlight in those areas where we think the quality of service needs to improve.

“And if it is necessary, we will send the investigative team what is the nature of the quality of service in such places with a view to improve the quality of the service,” Danbatta said.

The Executive Vice Chairman explained that the commission considers stakeholder feedback “as a critical component of our forward – looking regulatory model.”

Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta with senior management staff of NCC

“Hence, the overarching objective of this forum is to get direct feedback from our licensees on how we, as a regulator, are meeting your expectations, and on areas where we can improve our regulatory service, particularly those that have to do with licensing.

“We also intend to use this forum to seek your support for the several initiatives that the commission has carefully developed in our quest to enhance market opportunities for all our licensees.”

Danbatta added that the commission will focus it’s energies for the next five years on five strategic pillars.

Participants

The pillars according to him include “organisational renewal for operational efficiency and regulatory excellence.

“Facilitate the provision of infrastructure for a digital economy which fosters national development.

“Improve quality service (QoS) for enhanced consumer quality of experience (QoE).

“Promote fair competition, inclusive growth, increased investment and innovative services as well facilitate strategic collaboration and partnership.”

Participants

He disclosed that the federal government has articulated a number of critical policy objectives for the sector such as those articulated in the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS), the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (2020-2025), the Revised National Digital Identity Policy for SIM Registration among others.

He added that the instruments require the full and unalloyed commitment of all stakeholders to ensure their successful implementation, and the meeting in Kano would provide a veritable channel for licensees’ buy-in.

Participants

In his address the Director of Licensing and Authorisation Department, Mohammed Babajika, said the commission is further liberalising the telecoms industry by finalising the framework for Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) and is currently reviewing existing regulations.

“The Commission is also finalising the Information Memorandum (IM) for 5G deployment, emerging trends like Internet of Things (loT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Over The Top (OTT) Services and Big Data Analytics, all aimed at initiating strategies to improve service delivery that is accessible and affordable.

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