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Gidan Waya: Restoring the soul of an academic community

ABUBAKAR LABARAN KAFANCHAN writes on the spate of activities at the College of Education, Gidan Waya after it was reopened following a six-month closure by the Kaduna state government.

Justifying its mandate
The Kaduna State College of Education Gidan Waya was established in 1977 with a mandate to train and produce teachers for primary and junior secondary schools. The college has risen in fame and now one of the best among its peers across the country, and continuously justifies its mandate.

Shut and reopened
But following some security breaches, the college and other tertiary institutions in the southern part of the state were closed down for almost six months. Mother luck however smiled on them as the state government ordered their reopening on Monday 11th September, 2017 in line with the directives of the Kaduna state Governor, Nasir El-Rufa’i. The other institutions include; Kafanchan Campus of the Kaduna State University and the Kaduna State College of Nursing Kafanchan.
The reopening followed numerous calls from major stakeholders, including students, parents, traditional and religious leaders and others. For instance, the college’s chapter of the Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU), was very relentless in this regard. Expectedly, both the students and their parents were ecstatic at the news of the reopening.

Normalcy returns
When Blueprint visited the college’s permanent site recently, life has returned to its fullness with students going about their academic wok and other businesses. Interestingly, the registration of the NCE students went on simultaneously with lectures. For the degree students, their semester examination commenced same Monday 11th September, 2017, while another round of accreditation team from the National Commission for Colleges of Education, in addition to the workshop organised by Tertfund were also going on.

Chom hits the ground running
And in other to cover the lost ground, the College Administrator, Professor Emmanuel Joseph Chom, had prior to the reopening, solicited the support of the students, academic and non-academic staff, by setting up committees and opened to them advocacy of team work.
Speaking in an interview with our reporter, spokesman of the college, Mr. Danladi Mark Aduwu, further said the administrator was working round the clock to ensure all courses are accredited by the NCCE.
This, Aduwu disclosed, is in addition to rehabilitating a lot of infrastructures that were hitherto in a state of dilapidation, and also influenced the state government to award contracts for numerous projects geared towards conducive atmosphere for teaching and learning.

And the environs too..
Normalcy, the college image maker maintained, has returned to Gidan Waya and its environs in the last six months, saying, “in a survey conducted, it was discovered that activities such as farming and trading have continued unabated in the area, and these activities have not only picked up, but the scales have been broadened.”
Blueprint also observed that farmers are carrying on with their work without molestation or attack from any quarters. Similarly, Godo, Jagindi and Ungwan Mailafiya markets in Gidan waya, are blossoming with commercial activities on the very high side.

Students speak
More than anybody, the students who felt it more while the closure lasted, are glad that the soul of the academic community was finally restored. To Michael Henry, a final year student of Department of Agriculture, the governor should be for not only reopening the college, but providing a conductive environment for the college community to thrive. He also noted that their long stay at home had resulted in academic rusty, assuring however that they would work hard to cover the lost ground.
Similarly, Jessica Yakubu of the English Department, said a 24-hour security has been provided within and around the school to give students a sense of security while going about their daily activities. She added that lectures are going on smoothly without let or hindrances.

Hostels renovation
And as a show of concern for the students’ welfare, the state government has awarded a contract of one Hundred and Sixteen Million Naira (N116, 000, 000) for the renovation of the students’ hostels and the supply of furniture to the College.
This followed the consideration of the reports and request of the College Management Committee, based on the perennial accommodation challenges facing the students. So it is with the supply of classroom furniture for a conducive learning and teaching environment.
Signing the contract agreement, Professor Chom commended the state government and appealed to the contractors to execute the project to specification and complete the work within the set time.

Matriculation
The matriculation of 3,445 one hundred Level regular students for the 2016/17 academic session last month, is a further illustration of the spate of activities going on within the college since resumption .
At the occasion, the college’s legal officer, Barrister Chris Uchnenna Nnamdi, administered the matriculation oath. Addressing the new intakes, the administrator urged them to do themselves, parents, the college, state and the nation in general proud by working hard to pass their examinations.
Describing them as a special set as the college clocked forty years (October 20) at the time of their matriculation, he challenged them to exhibit the guiding principles of being hungry for knowledge and respect for constituted authority.
Professor Chom revealed that from an initial student population of 186 at take-off, the College now has a student population of 4, 537, excluding the 3,445 that were matriculated, in addition to the expectation of another set of 100 level NCE Regular before the year runs out.

Be of moral conduct
While noting that the institution is known for academic excellence, he admonished them to avoid vices such as alcoholism, prostitution, cultism, gangsterism and examination malpractice. The college’s helmsman also drew their attention to the security situation around the school, observing that 90% of students lives off campus. He therefore asked them to be of high moral standard in their host community and stay away from trouble.
With the oath-taking, he declared them bonafide students, warning that they should make their studies the major focus of their stay and operate within the school’s rules and regulations.
Professor Chom lauded Governor El-Rufai’s administration for reopening the school and following up with the development of infrastructure to make the institution worth its name.
It is hoped that the relative peace will be sustained to avoid a relapse of the ugly past leading to the disruption of academic activities of the tertiary institutions within Gidan Waya.

 

About Abubakar Labaran Kafachan

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