By Richard Dambo
Education in this part of the world has encountered so many forces that have caused setbacks for students who are pursuing degrees in particular fields of interest. There are several factors affecting the educational sector such as ; strike which has become almost a yearly ritual, fundings for infrastructures, research and other developments, this has elongated the year of study for a program putting an impediment on students’ goals causing them to spend extra years in the universities. This mostly occurs in government owned institutions. This has prompted the rise in both private and mission tertiary institutions to spring up across the country to see that students acquire their degrees at the stipulated time and also to bring healing to the ailing education sector.
The foregoing are reasons why Nok University Kachia is a timely intervention. In September 2019, the proposed private university started work in preparation to flag off academic activities. It will become an ivory tower for science inclined courses . Nok University Kachia will offer benchmarked educational programmes for the Nigerian community, it is also open to foreign students. The proposed ivory tower is located in Kachia, which is on the outskirts, about 92 KM to the Kaduna central city. Kachia is located on latitude 9°867N and longitude 7°950E. It is about an hour and a half drive to the main city where the airport is located.
As construction of facilities progress at the proposed Nok University Kachia, the first of its kind in the Southern part of Kaduna, the Founder, Chief Anthony Hassan, has disclosed that the University when completed, will prioritize science-related courses like Engineering, Medicine, and Environmental Sciences, in order to equip graduates with skills. Hassan said the decision to establish Nok University was to complement the government’s efforts in boosting the educational sector in the country, adding that, “considering the number of people who seek admissions yearly, the public institutions cannot accommodate them all, hence, the idea to establish this private University. “The University intends to give science-related courses priority, so as to equip graduates with self-employment rather than have them depend on white-collar jobs,” Chief Hassan explained .
Leading the board of trustees for accreditation of the university is Most Rev. Dr. Matthew Hassan Kukah, Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto. Bishop Kukah is processing the establishment and accreditation at the National Universities Commission (NUC). In April 2020, the clergyman presented a bid document for the establishment of the proposed Nok University, Kachia.During the visit, Kukah was received by NUC Executive Secretary, Professor Abubakar Rasheed.The documents handed over to the NUC Executive Secretary were the Master Plan, the Academic Brief, the Soil Investigation report as well as the Environmental Impact Assessment of the proposed university.
Rasheed said the commission would continue to encourage all well-meaning northerners to give back to society by investing in the education sector. According to him, the North-East and North-West geopolitical regions have only five private universities of the total 79 presently in the country.
Professor Rasheed said there was the need to develop tertiary education in the northern region in order for the north to remain relevant and economically viable.He said, “Based on the geographical spread of the 79 private universities in the country, 13 are located in the South-South, 14 in the South-East, 36 in South-West, 11 in North-Central, two in North-East and three in North-West. “From this breakdown, it is obvious that the entire northern states need to invest more in education in order to remain relevant and economically viable. It is against this backdrop that the commission has continued to encourage all well-meaning northerners to give back to society by investing in the sector. “The proposed Nok University, Kachia, is not only the first private university in Southern Kaduna, but the first indigenous university in the region. However, university education is not a profit-making venture, but a social investment that must be seen as an opportunity to invest in the development of the minds of the people,” Prof. Rasheed added.
Nok University Building Plan
Professor John Gambo Laah, chairman of the Forum of Southern Kaduna Professors has stated the willingness of his colleagues to support the noble initiative. Professor Laah also took to his Facebook page on 22nd July 2020 to announce the successful first visit by National Universities Commission to the ivory tower. He called on all sons and daughters of southern Kaduna to support the university project. The don wrote “Kaduna State is gradually becoming truly the centre of learning. With a successful first visit by the NUC Team, the clock is ticking for Nok University, Kachia to join the league. We pray that God will give the promoters the energy and resources to pursue the project to the end.”
It is widely believed that the birth of this new dream and the emergence of this pioneer private university in the state will solve some of the problems in the education sector. Thus, produce employable graduates who can create working systems, invent machines, proffer solutions to problems and create value to research in science and technology.