Zulum Reads Riot Act to Principals over Borno Schools Reopening, others
Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno state, has begged principals unfold
challenges of coronavirus (COVID-19) to re-open 84 secondary schools
across the state.
According to him, the 84 principals be ‘honest and tell the truth’ on
conditions of re-opening the schools, seven months after closures.
While addressing principals Sunday in Maiduguri, the state capital,
Zulum disclosed: “You should tell me the COVID-19 realities and
challenges in educational system, rather than pretend or cover up for
fear of being victimized.”
He said the emergency meeting with principals, was to get ‘genuine and
first-hand information’ from principals of affected schools.
“I’m here before you yesterday (Sunday) to tell me the problems facing
your individual public schools, before re-opening them to commence
academic activities under COVID-19 protocols of Nigerian Centre for
Disease Control (NCDC),” he said.
He continued; “I have been to several schools, and each time I asked,
some of you principals found it difficult to explain the problems in
“I was later made to understand that if you tell me truth, you would
either be transferred somewhere you wouldn’t like, or somehow be
While begging principals on state of public schools, he said: “Let us
tell ourselves the truth so that we can improve Borno’s public
education from where we are now.
“I am pleading with you to please be upright, be honest.”
Education, according to him, is the bedrock of any socioeconomic and
political developments at all levels.
He warned that without “functional and effective” educational system,
we shall continue to experience this Boko Haram insurgency.
While lamenting state of education, he said: “Look at the kind of
students we are graduating from our public secondary schools.
“Most of them do not qualify for admission into universities, even
those who get admitted find it very difficult to cope.
“I assure you that telling me the truth will not lead to anything
happening to any of you by God’s grace.”
While going down memory lane, he reminded the principals of glorious
days, and the need for all stakeholders to regain quality in public
Continued; “Principals were not willing to even become permanent
secretaries because of job satisfaction.
“Today, that satisfaction is longer there. There is general decline in
the standard of education in public institutions all over the
He attributed falling education standards; to lack of qualified
teachers and maintenance culture, inadequate teaching facilities and
general decay in infrastructural facilities in the state.
He noted that government’s unnecessary bureaucracy and irregular
training and retraining of teachers and essential staff led to
eventual collapse of education system.
He therefore, assured that measures will continually be adopted to
improve the training and welfare of teachers and administrators of
public school system.
This, he said will to motivate and facilitate high performance; while
supervision will be drastically changed for the purpose of punishing
those unready to change.
In their responses to Governor, the principals complained about poor
quality of primary school graduates who come into secondary schools
without an educational foundation.
They urged the Governor to critically look into the reintroduction of
common entrance examination at primary six levels, which should be
yardstick for admission into secondary schools.
Zulum, therefore directed them to write down all the problems they
listed and more if any, for submission to him within a week.
The Governor also directed the immediate reintroduction of the common
entrance examination at primary six levels.
He also directed the enforcement of a qualifying policy that
henceforth, only pupils who pass the examination by securing a cut-off
mark, should be eligible for admission into the first year of junior
secondary schools (JSS 1).
“You should not give admissions to all pupils; regardless of common
entrance criteria,” he warned,” adding that school authorities must
henceforth take all qualifying and promotional examinations seriously;
as Government will monitor all conducts.