It is not disputable that Jonathan’s government was marred by
laissez-faire attitude towards fight against corruption, but his
regime was much serious about education in Nigeria than Buhari’s, more
especially in the North. Goodluck Jonathan had advocated for the
“Education For All” which led to the full implementation of the
Universal Basic Education with a revamped curriculum. Even on the
fight against terrorism, Jonathan spent much money and trusted the
Northerners for ensuring terrorism comes to an end, but was sabotaged
by corrupt people who he trusted to send terrorists packing.

Goodluck Jonathan understood that to fight terrorism, you first tackle
educational issues. Fight against terrorism is more ideological than
physical combat from the onset. Thus, educated populace could hardly
cow themselves into Boko haram recruits. With the creation of
awareness campaigns via media and the traditional methods, last
administration tried to bring sanity into the North by trying to
deradicalise the populace.

On Almajiri urchins that are made as a venture into religious values
not minding the system’s long term negative effect on the psychosocial
development of the masses, Professor Ruqaiyah, when she was the
minister of Education under Jonathan’s administration, fashioned the
almajiri model schools to curtail the menace of sending children into
villages and cities to beg in the name of education. This was piloted
as one of the interventions to end the preponderance of begging that
leads to increase in poverty and nonproductive adults. Though she was
suspended for her unflinching support for Lamido who had political
rift with Jonathan, she wasn’t incompetent, and perhaps she could be
rated best Education Minister since 2007 till date, her legacies still
manifest on Nigeria’s education. Ruqaiyah pioneered the proposal on
school feeding which APC now hoots with, despite its failure and
loopholes due to inaccuracies in feasibility and pilot studies (check
the National Policy on Education, 2013).

On making education free and compulsory, N15 billion was expended in
the last administration to reform Almajiri Schools. Unfortunately,
under Buhari’s draconian policies and leadership incompetence coupled
with his inability to see reason to sack incompetent ministers, the
schools built with such stupendous money are now in ruins. “The state
of the Almajiri integrated model Schools built during the tenure of
former President Goodluck Jonathan has deteriorated” reported

Today, Buhari is only proud of the unflinching support he derives from
people who think virtue is the only solution to myriad of Nigeria’s
problems and system failure which he contributes. If the Hon. Speaker
of the House of Representatives blasts Buhari of “neglecting Almajiri”
he’s right on a fact check. Buhari’s government does care less about
progressive education but a shadow war on insurgency and “pight
against karapshin” which itself is a fight against opposition.

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