Model Science Secondary School: Yahaya Bello’s Gift to Future Generations
By Hafsat Ibrahim
“Leaders are like gardeners. … As leaders, we are not only responsible for harvesting our own success but for cultivating the success of the next generation”
Susan Collins (US Senator)
All over the world, education is a major tool which prepares the minds of young people for the task ahead and moulds them into resourceful and responsible adults who will add value to the society. In the present world, emphasis is on imparting problem-solving ability, critical thinking and creativity on the kids… And these come through science, technology, skills development and talent discovery and nurturing.
The New Direction Administration’s determination to change the narrative of Kogi state education sector apparently attracted the attention of Image Merchants Promotions Limited (IMPR), publishers of PRNigeria, Economic Confidential, Politics Digest, Emergency Digest, Tech Digest and other titles . Before now, Governor Yahaya Bello has always expressed his administration’s commitment to the development of the education sector as it is the key to high-level human capital development needed for the emancipation of the people.
In line with our organisation’s diligent pursuit of developmental journalism, I and a couple of colleagues were sent on a fact-finding mission to verify the fantastic tales we have read and heard about Bello’s achievements.
The first government official we came in contact with was the Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Wemi Jones Ojo, who graciously welcomed us to his office when he heard we were in town to get the facts and figures about the administration’s achievements.
The cerebral commissioner started by applauding the governor’s commitment to education, stating that Governor Bello does not play politics with the sector at all. According to him, Governor Bello sees education as a tool with which he can truly liberate and emancipate his people and also a sustainable path through which he can empower the people rather than a way for him to win the next election.
He pointed out several measures that the New Direction Administration had put in place to advance the education sector in Kogi State since he joined the train in 2020. According to him “I started my tenure by writing down my analysis on what I stand to achieve in the long term, medium term and short term and we have so far made sure that everything is methodical and systematic,”
He noted that of all the 19 states of the North, Kogi is the only state with a functional, modern education law, adding that the remaining 18 states are still using the old Northern Nigeria education law of the 1960s. The law guides all policies and actions of the education sector and keeps both the state government and the private sector in check and on their toes.
The Commissioner informed us that the state has the lowest number of out-of-school children in the north.
According to him, the emphasis of the education policy of the state is now STEM (Science Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) which he said is the global standard. So he said the administration had been doing a lot of upgrades in the standard of both primary and secondary schools across the state.
The most captivating part of our encounter with the Commissioner was the Model Science Secondary School Adankolo, which is located in the Adankola area of Lokoja and which he said is very dear to the governor. After speaking so glowingly about the huge project, he personally took us to the location to see things for ourselves.
When we drove into the large expanse of land that accommodates the School and I saw the giant structure on display, I was proud to be on such a media tour and also to be a Kogite. The three-story imposing edifice was fitted with a total of 18 50-student capacity classrooms which means it can accommodate 900 students at once.
The ground floor contains the Administrative block. There are six standard laboratories for Physics, Chemistry, Food and Nutrition, Agric Science, Home Economics, Wood Work and Metal work, 5 emergency exit routes, a large Agricultural garden, 1000-capacity CBT hall among other impressive facilities. The sport-loving governor also provided a standard pitch for Football as well as Volleyball, Basketball and Tennis Courts.
The Commissioner informed us that the school which was still under construction is just one out of many that were undergoing construction or remodelling across the state.
It is often said that seeing is believing. At the Adankolo end of Lokoja, the Kogi state capital, we saw and we have now learnt to believe…. Governor Bello is doing wonders in Kogi state.