95% of students cannot read, Borno gov discovers on visit to school

Borno State Governor Babagana Zulum has expressed shock after visiting the Malam-Fatori Primary School in the Abadam Local Government Area of the state and finding out that only five out of 100 students could read.

The governor paid an unscheduled visit to the school on Thursday, October 6 and tested 100 students at the junior secondary arm of the school.

A statement released by the governor’s media team after the visit said 95 per cent out of the 100 pupils tested admitted they could not read.

The governor asked seven students who claimed they could read to pronounce the phrase, ‘social studies’, from their textbook. Five of the seven pronounced it correctly, while two could not.

According to the statement, the governor was visibly worried about the quality of teaching at the local government after he found out that of the 224 teachers on the payroll of schools in the LGA, only six were on the ground, and none of them had teaching qualifications. 

“Zulum’s finding on Thursday tallied with a report presented to him in February 2022, which assessed the quality of primary school teachers across the 27 local government areas of Borno State. 

“The report had categorized Abadam, with headquarters in Malam-Fatori, as having the worst indices because out of 224 teachers assessed, only 14 were deemed fit to teach in primary schools, and none of the 14 was at the school during the governor’s visit on Thursday,” the statement read. 

According to the report, 70 out of 224 teachers across Abadam LGA were found trainable, while 140 were untrainable and unqualified to teach. 

At the end of his findings at the school, located along the shores of Lake Chad in the northern part of the state, Zulum directed that drastic measures be taken, including the deployment of qualified teachers and the retraining of 70 teachers found to be trainable across the LGA. 



    The governor promised the government’s support to encourage the 70 teachers to return to colleges to acquire the required knowledge and teaching skills. 

    Following the poor state of education in the area, the governor directed the relocation of 362 teenagers among the primary school pupils from the LGA to Maiduguri, the state capital, pending the full implementation of reform measures at the school and similar schools across the LGA, 

    It added, “The decision, reached with the apparent support of parents and guardians, was to move teenagers who are less dependent on their parents and could live in Maiduguri for boarding schools away from their parents. The governor thought it was not wise to move pupils at young ages, who have extreme emotional attachments and dependence on their parents and guardians. 

    “Professor Zulum said moving some of the pupils is aimed at mitigating the impact of the poor learning environment, pending firm measures.”

    Marcus bears the light, and he beams it everywhere. He's a good governance and decent society advocate. He's The ICIR Reporter of the Year 2022 and has been the organisation's News Editor since September 2022. Contact him via email @ [email protected].

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