By Ali Sabo.
As the level of education is deteriorating and going backward in Nigeria especially in the northern part of the country due to lack or inadequate investment in the sector, while experts and concerned citizens are every day looking for a way to bring back and salvage the already dying institution in the country. It is in this regards that the Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) with support from MacArthur Foundation has been organizing series of debates to secondary school students yearly across the country in order to revive the reading culture among our young ones. In July and September of this year the Centre (CITAD) had organized similar event in Jama’amare Local Government of Bauchi State and Kano state respectively. The debate which is tagged as Youth Speak for Peace Creativity Fiesta and Competition consists of four categories: Story Telling, Pick and Talk, Quiz and Poetry.
In Jigawa state five schools participated at the debate namely: Dutse Model International School, Government Senior Secondary School Shuwarin, Commercial Secondary School Dutse, Academy for the Gifted and Talented Bamaina and Government Girls Senior Secondary School Marabusawa.
The event which started at 11am had 140 participants, special quests among the participants were the Honorable Commissioner of Education, Jigawa state who was ably represented by the Deputy Director Special Duties, Malam Kamilu Ibrahim, Malam Isa Surajo, State Team Leader, Engage Citizens Pillar (ECP), FOMWAN representative, Director Dutse Model International School and Chairman Jigawa Civil Society Forum, comrade Musbahu Basirka.
In her opening remarks, the Honorable commissioner of education who was ably represented by Deputy Director Special Duties stated that she is very happy and commended CITAD for coming up with this laudable initiative, she went further to mentioned that event like this will ginger the students to pay more attention to learning and also boost their English Language. She also remarked that this an encouraging starts and urged CITAD to keep up the good work as she knew CITAD is a partner in progress not only in Jigawa but in the whole country. She promised to help in any way possible to make sure that the event is been conducted in the state yearly. While in his remarks, the Director Dutse Model International School appreciate CITAD for organizing this event and most importantly for the given his school the honor to host the event. He went further to state that students in this part of the country really need this kind of event because it is the only way that can stimulate and encourage them to do more in their academic activities. The State Team Leader, Engage Citizens Pillar, Malam Isa Surajo while giving his remarks said this activity reminded him of when he was in secondary school some 20 years back, he went further to urge the students to continue with debate even after they left here among their colleagues in their schools as it is the only way they can groom themselves to become good public speakers.
After the debate the following schools emerged as First, Second and third positions in the different categories of the debate conducted. Bamaina Academy for the Gifted emerged first position at the Pick and Talk with 87 point followed by Dutse Model International School in the second position with 83.8 points then Commercial Secondary school Takur Emerged as the third position with 66.9 points while for the Quiz also Bamaina Academy for the Gifted emerged first with 8 marks followed by Commercial Secondary School Takur with 7 marks and GDSS Shuwarin in the third position with 6 marks. In the Story Telling Dutse Model emerged first with 80.5% followed by Bamaina Academy for the Gifted as second with77.6 and Commercial Secondary School in the third position with70.6 points while in the poetry Reading Dutse Model took the first position with 74.6, GDSS Shuwarin took the second position with71.3 and GGSS Marabusawa emerged third with 71 point. Prizes such as Bicycles, Plasma Televisions, Handsets, School bags and Books were been given to the winners.
In his vote of thanks, the Executive Director of Centre for Information Technology and Development who was ably represented by the Centre’s Program officer Peace, Malam Hamza Ibrahim thanked all the participating schools and especially Dutse Model for agreeing to host the event. He went further to state that today’s event is not about winner or loser as there is no victor nor vanquish as the main idea of organizing the event is just to revive the reading culture and unveil the different talents of our young ones and put them on the track.