Dankwambo’s master key in Gombe By Abu-Ubaida Ibrahim Kuna

His possession of a PhD underscores the seriousness and love with which Governor Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo has been pursuing the cause of qualitative and functional education in Gombe state. While it is popularly held that education is the key to development, Dankwambo has made it the master key to the development of Gombe state. It is an emphasis that started from day one on May 29, 2011 when he mounted the saddle as the third civilian governor of Gombe state.
The governor declared his intention to make the education sector the priority programme for development. He should know, because social development experts see education as key to social wellbeing and escape from poverty trap. They maintain that education is also a facilitator for social improvement and inclusion, the upgrading of human capital, increased opportunities, and enhanced freedom and welfare.
The Dankwambo administration has within seven years become synonymous with quality education and sustainable socio-economic empowerment of future leaders. Historically, Nigeria’s northeast has been bedeviled by multifaceted social challenges that have stunted educational development.
The region holds a large population of out of school children, compounded with the problems of girlchild education. But Dankwambo has made a world of difference by tearing down the barriers of government’s lack of commitment. His administration’s strong commitment has been demonstrated through many interventions to create educational opportunities for the people of the region.
During the recent budget presentation in the Gombe State House of Assembly, not many people understood what the governor meant when he listed education as his first, second and third priority. In no distant time Gombe state would stand out as the bastion of quality education in the entire northeast.
As someone who has tasted the fruit of good education and determined to bequeath it as his legacy to the state, the governor had stated: “I always say that the state of Massachusetts in the US doesn’t have agriculture and much industry, but they do have education, and that is why we are developing education so Gombe can be a hub of education and talent development. We want to export talent from Gombe, and there is much potential in this sector.”
In fact, the Dankwambo administration has continued to focus much attention on education by investing billions of naira in the sector. The quantum of returns on this investment from the first year of his administration up until now is beyond words. Within the past seven years, education in Gombe state has steadily been given the largest share of the state’s annual budgets.
From inception, the visionary administration of Dankwambo constructed a befitting new Central Model Schools at Gombe, Dukku, Funakaye, Akko, Billiri, Kaltungo and Deba LGAs with over 584 and renovated 374 blocks of classrooms in both primary and secondary schools across the state. It built 93 laboratories and renovated 30 to improve the standard of science and technology education in the state and constructed new secondary and primary schools at Gabukka, Herwagana, Abubakar Umar Memorial and Kurjale, etc.
In order to ensure congenial environment for learning for pupils in schools, Governor Dankwambo decongested the classes from 100 or more to 40 students per class in all schools across the state. The government also constructed and renovated hostels, constructed about 284 toilet facilities and renovated 78. He recruited over 4000 university graduates and over 2000 NCE graduates to make up the shortage of teachers in both primary and secondary schools across the state.
To also ensure high quality teaching and learning in schools, the Dankwambo administration created a Quality Assurance Department, as well as, training of 5, 000 teachers as part of professional development and 3, 918 teachers consisting of 888 junior Secondary and 3, 030 primary teachers.
In his efforts to control the number of almajiris in the streets of Gombe state, Dankwambo constructed Tsangaya Primary Schools at Nafada, Kwami and Wuro Ladde with facilities. The administration has so far enrolled 2000 students for remedial programme with University of Maiduguri in which 55% have gained admission into the university and purchased and distributed JAMB/UTME forms from 2011-2018 and sent 20 students for overseas maritime degree programme.
As a professional accountant, the governor also made the payment of students’ scholarship easy by introducing E-Payment of Scholarship allowances and computerization of the scholarship board.
Dankwambo’s determination to give the best in higher education is immeasurable. For instance, he established five tertiary institutions including School of Basic and Remedial Studies at Kumo and Daban – Fulani, Conventional College of Education Billiri, College of Nursing and Midwifery Dukku (under construction), State Polytechnic Bajoga, School of Legal and Islamic Studies Nafada, Gombe State University College of Medical Science and the Gombe State University of Science and Technology Kumo.
The government has procured and installed laboratory equipment for the college and faculty of pharmaceutical science, Gombe State University, Gombe State University of Science and Technology and recently approved the establishment of another five tertiary institutions, which includes: College of Agriculture and Animal husbandry, College of Accountancy, Institute of Journalism and Institute of Sports.
It is said that education is the key to development, but Dankwambo has made it the master key in Gombe state.
Kuna is Special Assistant (New Media) to Governor Dankwambo

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