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How Bolaji Abdullahi's 'BIG IDEAS' Paralysed Colleges Of Education In Kwara

By Adedayo Said

A former commissioner for Education and Kwara Central senatorial candidate of People's Democratic Party (PDP), Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi has been accused of destroying Colleges of Education in Kwara State during his time as commissioner for Education between 2007-2011.

The accusation was made by a teacher, Mr Kamaldeen Dare on a popular radio program on Sobi FM, "Eto Wa" by the leading Pro-Democracy group, Kwara Must Change.

According to Mr Kamaldeen, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi is only throwing around the concept of big ideas in rhetoric, he has no understanding of the concept itself.

Kamaldeen stated that, the challenges facing all Kwara State colleges of Education started with Bolaji Abdullahi, when he was commissioner for Education.

"It was under Bolaji Abdullahi's leadership, that most courses being done by colleges of education in the state was cancelled and a college, which for example, has a student population of over 40,000 suddenly started having less than a thousand students " Kamal said, adding that this development brought a situation where colleges of education could no longer generate enough resources to run its affairs.

He explained that this was a time when the colleges had been given autonomy, in which they were expected to run the institutions with funds generated by themselves.

"How does Bolaji Abdullahi and the government he served in, expect the colleges to operate independently, when they have already cut off the main source of their revenue by cancelling many courses that usually bring more students to the colleges? He asked.

Mr Kamal said that this development was responsible for the death of colleges of education in the state, which eventually culminated owing lecturers several months of unpaid salaries, noting that the current administration met all colleges of education on strike due to several months of unpaid salaries, running into 14 months.

Another analyst, Mr Lanre Babadudu also alluded to the claim, stating that the ugly development in colleges of education at some point, made some lecturers become labourers, due to several months of unpaid salaries.

Recall that some graduates and lecturers from different colleges of Education in Kwara state, had in October, voiced their discontent against some of the policies implemented by the former commissioner for education in the state's tertiary institutions.

A Facebook user and scholar, Dr Bee, stated that the degree programmes by the Kwara State College Education were halted by Abdullahi.

"We are still suffering from his big idea that kills our degree program for kwasu kick off.. Till today our degree program that was halted by his recommendation is still experience major setback after we fought for it return recently

He is the brain behind the closures of kwara state colleges of education ilorin for more than a year and we are asked to be a feeder team for kwasu when kwasu was experiencing enrolment problems.

His big idea was a bad omen in our colleges. I stand firmly on this. I am not a politician but a lover of education and teacher who suffer in the hands of a bad policy that is not sustainable," he stated.

Corroborating the lecturer, Amb. Abdullateef Olalekan noted that their counterparts in Kwara state college of Education in Ilorin suffered a setback.

He added that the institution is yet to recover from the effects of the obnoxious policies till date.

"The institution is not what it is supposed to be till today." 

A graduate of one of the Colleges of Education in Oro, Amzat Olaiya, detailed how the Abdullahi-led ministry dis-accredited a lot of courses and departments in the name of restructuring.

"I'm never a fan of Bolaji Abdullahi, that guy spoiled tertiary education. My set in Oro then was about 15, 000. After he scrapped some courses/department, their total students were not up to 1000 all in the name of restructuring that doesn't bring progress." 

Olaiya advised the current administration to restore the lost glory of the institutions by conducting a fresh accreditation exercise.

"If this present govt wants to return the lost glory back, that means they have to apply for fresh accreditation of those dept (maybe)." 

Likewise, another graduate, Prince Atolagbe Adebarae, decried how the Abdullah-led ministry crippled the Kwara State College of Arabic Islamic Legal Studies.

It should be noted that Abdullahi's tenure was marred by various controversies including obnoxious policies against teachers and the physical assault of a teacher in Baboko.

However, the former commissioner, who is now seeking election as the Kwara Central Senatorial Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, has continually begged for teachers' forgiveness.

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