By Adamu Muhammad Dodo
Itwas on Thursday last week that Lawal Abubakar Boro, Personal Assistant to the Executive Secretary, National Commission for Nomadic Education, NCNE, headquartered in Kaduna, sent a text message that they were coming to Yola, Adamawa state on official assignment to deliver 5,000 instructional materials and a carton each of ten radio player and instructional recorded cassettes, for Ardo Kaku Nomadic Primary School, Mayo-Ine village, Fufore local government area, established by Fulbe Development and Cultural Organisation, FUDECO, Adamawa state, funded by the International Indigenous Women Forum, FIMI- AYNI
“Sir I was told by my Boss, Prof Bashir Haruna Usman
that you are the link person we are to contact, can you also inform the officials of FUDECO, Adamawa state so that we can take the consignment to the community tomorrow?
“My Boss directed me to ask you to kindly be part of the team that will visit the community, sir,” the message read in part.
In fact, I was earlier informed by the executive secretary himself and what my role would be, while joining the delegation. It’s a social responsibility I was not to decline, I was not to delegate.
The team led by the Director, Social Mobilisation and Women Development of the Commission, Dr. Fidelis Idoko arrived Yola from Kaduna on Thursday, at about 7pm. It’s a long, tiring, arduous, potholed ridden journey, the team would need to retire to bed, refreshed for the next day taxing task.
Although the FUDECO Adamawa state coordinator, Jamila Hassan
who was earlier briefed of the mission, was bereaved and was receiving condolences, the amazing amazon scheduled a meeting at the FUDECO state office in Yola to hold at 11am on Friday.
There was a convocation lecture at Modibbo Adama University, MAU Yola, I would love to have attended. However, as one dedicated to be a link man, I couldn’t leave the guests on delegation without a compass, I would have to attend, to the fullest, the meeting as a co-opted member by both NCNE and FUDECO.
I was certain that I could get the full video coverage of the convocation lecture, considering that MAU Yola is my other, rather strong constituency and I have trusted the institution’s management, led by the Vice Chancellor, Prof Abdullahi Liman Tukur, the adjudged super-efficient administrator who humbled himself in achievements, his very functional information and protocol officer, Aminu Julde Gurumpawo and the dedicated programme and event managers.
The stakeholders joining the team were prompt for the Friday meeting. I also invited Muhammad Auwal Jada
the Periscope staff who earlier visited the Ardo Kaku Nomadic School. We have all arrived the venue at Konngol SilverTongue, Media and Language Training Institute, Hurum Bilkisu fortress that housed FUDECO Adamawa office, few minutes to 11am.
Ardo Kaku Nomadic School runs under treeshed. Until she received the blessings of the approval of His Royal Highness, Lamido Adamawa, Dr Muhammadu Barkindo Aliyu Musdafa who donated the land, before block of classrooms could be erected, as FUDECO coordinator could figure out.
Suffices to say that the school hasn’t got library or better still, a store. The meeting decided that FUDECO office could in the interim, be made a store to keep the instructional materials that even other nomadic schools already established and the later to be established could also get to benefit from.
There are two raods leading to Ardo Kaku from Yola; passing through Fufore seems the shortest and fastest. However there’s the river between and without a bridge to cross. I was later to learn that the river passes through to Ngurore where there’s bridge to cross rather effortlessly and beyond, to join River Benue and terminate at sea.
Taking the path would mean parking our vehicles in Fufore and packing the packaged consignment for Ardo Kaku to the canoes by the riverbank, using commercial motorcycles.
There are however holes in the seeming old canoes to be used for at least ten to fifteen minutes nevigation. The leakages would stain, to the point of damaging some of the instructional materials. The committee didn’t find the Fufore “path” convenient! Comfortable.
The other is through the rough potholes, Mayo-Belwa road. It seems taking a long-distance, compared to that of Fufore but certainly not more than an hour drive. It was the preferable option the team considered.
The meeting had taken a longer time than expected. The FUDECO state coordinator was given enough time to discuss the mission and vision of the organisation aimed at resettling the displaced fulbe, having them reoriented in tune with “moral sensibility” – moralising Thomas Stearns Eliot OM, popularly known to students of literature, as T.S Eliot; American poet, essayist, publisher, playwright, literary critic and editor – by giving them education; making a befitting meeting point of the two parties; FUDECO and NCNE.
Having commended the NCNE for the prompt intervention, following the media reports of the FUDECO activity, Jamila Hassan explained how the organisation joined in having the displaced Fulbe survivors of the tribal militia barbarity in Numan resettled in Mayo-Ine village of Fufore local government area, sharing border with, if not closer to Mayo-Belwa local government; the two are among the Fulbe most accommodating, rather than hostile local governments in the state.
Educating the herdsmen is indeed one of the surest solutions to the criminalities credited to the group; both real and imagined.
Hassan explained how the Ardo Kaku Nomadic School started with just about thirty pupils and how the enrollment, by means of positive persuasion, grew to nearly two hundred pupils.
Hassan appealed for more teachers in tune with the UNICEF standard ratio of one teacher to thirty students in a classroom, where she explained that the nomadic school has currently got only but a lone teacher redeployed by the education secretary, Fufore local government.
Responding, the NCNE team lamented that the organisation could only establish, identify and/or strengthen the already established or existing nomadic schools. NCNE is constrained of hiring efficient and firing erring teachers as it used to be with the earlier mandates during the military in government era when the nomadic education was first introduced.
NCNE expressed dismay, disappointment, haplessness, helplessness and near hopelessness that sizeable resources and time would be invested in having teachers drilled with the nomadic education skills only for them to be redeployed by primary, now universal basic education board to rather conventional primary schools where the earlier training could unfortunately, not get to be applied, owing to the difference in the curriculums.
The meeting acknowledged that for nomadic education programme to get to its full accomplishment, NCNE ought to be given a renewed mandate not just to train but to also recruit qualified, promote the promising and dismiss the redundant teachers.
In the interim, there has to be a strong political willed synergy between the NCNE and SUBED since it is the latter that provides teachers to the former.
The role of the media and civil society organizations to serve as check and to insist on due process in fine-tuning the NCNE mandates for efficiency and effectiveness, as among the way forward was also deliberated.
The NCNE team explained that in compliance to the enlightenment and sensitisation mandates of the commission, in addition to acquiring airtime in a broadcasting corporation, the commission “has secured approval from the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) for the establishment of an AM Radio Broadcasting License (Frequency Channel 720 KHz and a bandwidth of 9KHz) for an initial period of five years from October 2018 to October 2023.
“The Broadcast will be carried out in English Language, Hausa, fulfulde and Pidgin, targeting the three categories of the nomadic groups namely; the Nomadic Pastoralists, Migrant Fisherfolk and Migrant Farmers.
“So far, we have completed a state-of-the art recording/production and trans mission/broadcast studios, preparatory to the take-off of the Commission’s Radio Station tagged “Radio Zamanu International”.
NCNE has commended FUDECO Adamawa state coordinator for the selfless service and has assured that they would be collaborating to achieve desired result.
The NCNE visit was not just to donate instructional materials but to also inspect the nomadic school and find out the areas of intervention.
The team also visited where the Periscope Global Publishers is setting up her Yola office and acknowledged that it was exquisite, impressively corporate, signifying commitment and seriousness.
The meeting was adjourned few minutes after 5pm. It would not be possible to visit the Ardo Kaku Nomadic School till next day being, Saturday.
To be continued…