By Ahmed Ajikobi
Kwara State Commissioner for Education and Human Capital Development, Hajia Bilikisu Oniyangi has identified factors responsible for mass failure of students in Mathematics and English.
Speaking at the grand finale of the maiden edition of state Inter Secondary Schools English and Mathematics competition, she reaffirmed state government commitment to effective teaching and learning of the core subjects in schools.
The competition was organised by a Non Governmental Organization, Saliu Mustapha Foundation in collaboration with the Kwara State Government, at the weekend.
Represented by the Director School Services of the Ministry, Mr. Timothy Oyewole, she stressed the importance of English and Mathematics in both basic and secondary schools, describing the two subjects as the core of every discipline which are peculiar requisite for admission into tertiary institutions.
She attributed failure of students in these two core subjects to lackadaisical attitudes on the part of the students, and exposure to information gadgets especially mobile phones which have affected time for studying.
She said the state government provided enough teachers for both English and Mathematics in all public schools in the state, charging the teachers to be more proactive in the discharge of their respective duties.
While delivering a lecture on the theme of the competition ” Investment in Education, the Solution to all problems “, the immediate past Director of the Centre for International Studies, University of Ilorin, Professor Mohammed Ibrahim, called for more investment into the educational sector, saying that the current investment is abysmally low which must be increased to reinvigorate the sector.
Professor Ibrahim also advocated the need for training and retraining of teachers of the core subjects, while asking the students to be more focused and devote more time for their education by avoiding anything that could cause distractions.
Earlier, the spokesman of the Foundation, Mallam Mahmood Olayinka Alaya, had earlier disclosed that thirty students qualified for the grand finale of the competition with sixty schools that participated in the competition across the three senatorial districts of the state.
Alaya noted that the competition was organized to inspire and encourage students on the core subjects, saying that the founder of Saliu Mustapha Foundation is totally committed to the development of educational sector in the state through knowledge driven programmes.
According to him ‘” the theme of this competition is apt and timely as the country is currently faced with myriad of problems, especially in the educational sector. Investment in the sector has been abysmally low and requires the collective contributions of the Federal and respective state governments, Non Governmental Organizations and Wealthy individuals. There is need to restore the lost glory of our educational sector”
“However, Saliu Mustapha Foundation is determined to empower the future leaders of tomorrow and prepare them ahead of the future challenges”, he said.
While speaking with journalists, the Founder of the Foundation, Mallam Saliu Mustapha, said the foundation was established to touch the lives of downtrodden people in the society, the students and those with different health challenges.
Mustapha noted that the foundation aimed to impact on the lives of the people in the immediate environment, saying that government alone should not be saddled alone with the responsibility of providing the needs of the people, hence the need for Non Governmental Organizations, wealthy individuals to support government at all levels in this directive.
He said ” For me it is a way of giving back to the environment, and when you look from a strategic position where I stand, if you don’t educate people then you’re bound to be in an insecure environment.
“When people are educated, they will know their left from their right, then you can rule out ignorance from what they are doing, but when you ignore them, then for those of us that believed that we are successful, we are only living in the mist of dangers.
“This is one of the factors driven this foundation to ensure that people within the immediate environment are well educated and catered for”
At the end of the competition, Ameen Ahmad of the University of Ilorin Secondary School emerged first, Adetoro Muritala from Offa Grammar School came second, while Yusuf Wahab Yusuf of ESS Erin-Ile came third.
Cash prizes were awarded to the first five students that emerged victories and their English and Mathematics teachers.