This is your second tenure as President of Kaduna Capital School Old Students Association (KADCAPSOSA), how has it been so far?
Alhamdulillah, when we started three years ago, we had a lot of challenges. We didn’t even have a place to hold meetings. But I can say today, we have a comfortable secretariat within the school premises. So we are always involved one way or the other in whatever the school is doing and even the government is sitting up.
During the Founder’s Day, Governor Nasir el-Rufai assured us that something would be done about the school as the principal had intimated him on many things that were wrong there.
The school early this year celebrated 60 years of its existence, how will you describe the school at 60?
We decided that the celebration will be for a whole year. The school at 60 is not the school we went to, I was here in the late 80s and early 70s and I remember what the school was, the teachers, the classrooms and other things; things have really gone bad. I tell people that the story of Capital School is the story of Nigeria because everywhere things are going downhill. But we are hopeful because the old students can do a lot in bringing back the lost glory of the school and the quality of education.
What kind of intervention has the old students rendered to the school since you came on board three years ago?
The most important thing is that we have gotten the government to sit up and listen to us, initially we were having problems with the Ministry of Education which felt Capital School was just one out of thousands of schools in the state seeking for government’s attention. But we see Capital School as special, as one of the legacies of the late Premier, Sir Ahmadu Bello. It was like a unity school where students from all over the north came to study. During our days, we had the best teachers, we had expatriate teachers, but things have changed for the worse. However, we are presently working on a 10-year developmental plan for the school, which will touch every part of the school.
Is it part of your plan to re-convert the school to boarding?
Right now, the population of the school is over 4,000 students. I don’t think it will be easy to manage such a boarding house. Though we have vast land to build the boarding facilities but with the population, it is going to be very difficult.
How will you describe the state of infrastructures in the school?
We have renovated the primary school library. It now has over a thousand books. We also have plans to help out with books in the secondary school library. We renovated two classrooms, which gulped over N3 million. We even brought electricity to the classrooms. Unfortunately the students have destroyed a lot of things there. We also have the problem of security whereby the school is open and anybody can come in and out. There are many classrooms without doors, windows and ceilings among others. The school also needs a borehole. The laboratories too have nothing in them.
There have been reports of violence around the school and sometimes hooligans come in to foment trouble. What is the situation like today?
During school hours, we have the police and Civil Defense personnel, they come from 8:00a.m. to 2:00p.m. But, it is open as there is a gate that is unmanned. So there has been a lot of theft and that is why we are appealing to the government to come in so that we can raise the walls and also have a gate that is manned by security 24 hours.
The welfare of teachers, how is it like in the school?
We have about 40 teachers on temporary appointment but Governor el-Rufai has promised to make them permanent employees. Right now, the old students help in paying the teachers as they got only a fraction of the budget the school gave on them. The primary session pays N3,600 per term while the secondary pays about N5,000 per term which is very low. We cannot expect to get good education with that kind of fee; so, the teachers are really poorly paid.