- Chairman, TSC
Members of Teachers Service Commission Embarked on Tour of secondary Schools in Nasarawa State as part of their mandate to surprise monitor and Evaluate the performance of teachers. The Chairman of the commission, Abdullahi Abuh Galdima spoke with our Associate Editor, Mathias Aboki Kyuni on wide range of Issues.
Excerpts on who is the Chairman, Teachers Service Commission.
I’m Abdullahi Abu Galadima from Kwandere, born on 25th, February, 1955. I attended my Primary School at Shabu between 1964 and1970, proceeded to the famous Government Teachers College, Keffi 1971-1975. After that I joined LGEA Lafia as a primary school teacher and rose to the rank of Headmaster before I left for further studies at the College of Education Akwanga for my NCE from 1977 to 1980. On completion, I went to Borno State for my mandatory NYSC from 1980-1981. After that, I took appointment with the Ministry of Education. I was employed by the Teachers Service Commission, Plateau State. After serving for about two years, I went back for my degree in Education, I read B.sc in Biology and graduated in 1984. Thereafter, I was posted to Science School Lafia where I taught up to 1988. In 1989 I was posted to Gada Buki as vice principal. That same year, I got employed at the College of Agriculture, Lafia as a Lecturer, and then transferred my services from Ministry of Education to the College.
In 1993, I served as Education Secretary to Lafia Local Government, up to 1999 when I went back to the Commission. During the political era, I was given appointment as Administrator, Lafia North Development Area as from 2009 to 201. After that, I went back to the College of Agriculture where I served as a lecturer and later became Head of Department, Basic Science for two tenures before becoming the Dean of School of Science and General studies. I served in this position for three years before I retired, although I was appointed to this present position of Chairman Teacher’s Service Commission shortly before I finally retired from the College after clocking sixty-five years of age.
On his experience as an Educationist
As an Educationist, I know Educationists are administrators and right from the teachers’ college, one is taught the art of administration, because by the time you are managing people with the students, either pupils or students, you understand that you are given responsibility of taking care of them. And so, in that respect, definitely, as a teacher, I know that all that I’m doing here is nothing new. Apart from that, I know that I have young, able officers that are working with me in this Commission. Therefore, my work is made easier, more so that I’m someone who believes that there is need for sharing of responsibilities which is what we are doing here, involving directors, all staff and indeed my members who are given responsibility to supervise where necessary and so, I’m comfortable with what I’m doing here.
Why the Commission Embarked on the State-wide tour
Visiting schools or monitoring activities of teachers at work is part of the responsibility of the Commission. You know, as people who recruit, as an organ that recruits these teachers, promotes them, disciplines them, definitely moving out to see them at work is very, very essential. We are aware of this and just have to fulfill this requirement even if that has not been done in the past. Besides that, the Chief Executive of the State, His Excellency Engr. A. A Sule is very much interested, he has passion, he has so much concern for the development of education in Nasarawa State. And having realized that, he knew that this organ has to do its work as expected. And so, what we did was part of our schedule, it is part of our work-plan for the year. And so, at that particular time, we were given the opportunity to carry out our responsibility because we applied and he approved and gave us the backing, the logistics support in the area of vehicles and resources to fuel them, to enable us carry out the assignment successfully, to see the teachers we recruited at work.
Assessment of teachers’ performance and condition in secondary schools
This visit that we made to various schools was the first experience. And to the best of my ability and knowledge, the report is yet to be out, but from the look of things I have the belief that the teachers are doing their best at the moment. For the new ones who are just about one year plus now, even though they were engaged before, however we can start talking about them from 2020 to date. Therefore, a lot of them are good.
However, rating the teachers in terms of their performances, it was not the Chairman alone that went out, we have our teams involving members of the Commission and staff who went out and have observed a lot of things. By the time we put our report together, we would show the world how exactly the position is. But I understand that most of the teachers were so excited, saying that this is the first time they are seeing members of the Commission moving out to see how well they are doing. We on our part have a passion for doing that and His Excellency is also interested in the educational development of Nasarawa State and so we are on the same page with him, to ensure that education gets its prime position in the state.
On the issue of training
It is expected that we in the Commission will handle the issue of training. Before now, it was not so but this year, definitely it is enshrined in our budget and it has already been approved. We have our work plan in which we are taking it step by step. You can see that the programme of moving out to see things for ourselves in various schools was carried out at the period outlined in our work plan. And before the year runs out, we are going to do some training courses for our teachers in post primary institutions in Nasarawa State.
On the performance of Governor A.A Sule in the Educational sector
You will understand that in Nasarawa State, before the coming of this administration, it has been the continuation of the previous administration and to the best of my ability, there has been a lot of development up in this sector. As APC slogan says the “Next Level”, and since it is a continuation of the previous government, the Governor, who is an engineer himself, is matching the developmental strides of his predecessor, he is building on the architectural design that had already been laid down. More to that, we are happy to say that there is none of our requests tabled before His Excellency that has not been given attention to.
Therefore, we can say that education is getting a boost in Nasarawa State. In fact, with the kind of attention that the Governor has given to education in Nasarawa State, he deserves our full cooperation in order to implement all that he has for education in Nasarawa State, as well as in other development areas, because he has placed a lot of emphasis on educational technology, that is science and technology.
Therefore, by the time he gives the approval for recruitment you will understand that our emphasis will be much more on science-based courses, and of course languages, because you cannot teach the science without English language to communicate.
For any other person who is interested to know what we are doing, we are very transparent and we will continue to show that level of transparency to ensure that what is given to education, what is for the welfare of the teachers we will do our best to see that it gets to the beneficiary.
His thoughts on other issues
As I have already said, at the post primary school level and of course it is our responsibility to advise the tertiary institutions in the State, to ensure that they give the right courses, guidance and counselling need to be given to the students and teachers, because our students are more concerned with arts courses. I am not saying that arts courses are not important but today since the word is all about science and technology, students should be encouraged to read sciences right from primary school to tertiary level. That is why most of our vacancies or our quota at the Federal University and even the State University cannot be filled, we are unable to meet up with the ratio 60% science and 40% Arts. Instead, we can only make up to 40% science and 60% Arts which is the correct thing.
From now, I cannot pre-empt what the Commission will bring out at the end of our report, because the report of our tour is still being complied and hopefully, would be ready in the next two weeks. And when it is ready, we will present it to His Excellency and it is only when this happens that you can get to know the true position of the Commission and not just what the Chairman has said.
Let me say this, we in the Commission cannot be our own judge. People out there should judge us, whether what we are doing is right or not. People should be able to comment on what we do because if we in the Commission are to do that, it would mean self-praise. We are ready to listen to people who will tell us what we are supposed to do but we have not done or what we have done well, or what we have not done very well,
I am happy that the Commission is working in synergy with the Ministry of Education. The Hon. Commissioner in that Ministry is listening to us, whatever comes out that we are supposed to do, she will tell us, even if it is with His Excellency, she will tell him that this is the work of the Commission. I appreciate the good relationship that the Commission is having with the Ministry.
May I make this call that the primary education should be given proper attention also. The NSUBEB is there, which takes care of the basic education. If the foundation is not solid, whatever building you make on it, the block will not stand well.
So, in essence what I am saying is that basic education should be properly taken care of. And all of us saddled with the responsibility at the different levels of education in this State must come together, join hands and cooperate to ensure that His Excellency Governor A. A Sule achieves success in the vision and mission that he has for Nasarawa State in all developmental aspects.