Government (Pilot) Secondary School, Daura, Katsina State, which was opened about 50 years back, when the idea of having a community school was conceived by some students who are indigenes of the state studying abroad, has marked its Golden Jubilee.
In 1966, some Katsina State indigenes then based in London, United Kingdom, began to meet and discussed the affairs of the state and most importantly the need for advancement of knowledge through the provision of a school to make up for the dearth of educational institutions in the then Katsina Province.
These students, otherwise known as the ‘Londoners’ were Abidu Yazid, Ali Saulawa, Umaru Mutallab, MT Bature and Umar Abdullahi.They nursed the idea of a community school which today has metamorphosed into Government (Pilot) Secondary School, Daura, a fountain of knowledge.
They resolved and met Alhaji Ahmadu Coomassie, then chairman of Katsina Province Education Development Fund (KPEDF) a non-governmental organisation set up to address the educational development in the province, during one of his visits to London.
Immediately upon his return to Katsina, Coomassie met the then emir, late Sir Usman Nagogo, with the idea of the students and Nagogo straight away bought into it and called a council meeting that deliberated and gave it’s blessing for the establishment of the school.
The school, since its establishment, has transformed from Community Secondary School to Government Secondary School and now Government Pilot Secondary School,through its 50 years of existence.
Through those years, the school served at one time or the other as base for the National Teachers Institute, Pivotal Training Centre, camping base for the National Arabic College, Gamborun Ngala College for its Arabic college camping.
From 1969 to date, the school has graduated hundreds of students and presently has 746 studying, with a ratio of 18 students to a teacher.
Another unique thing about the school is its four departments namely sciences, technical, commercial and Arts that are all running and which distinguish it from its peers. Hundreds of laurels have been won over the years by the school.
However, the state of the school presently shows the need for attention from all stakeholders. Over the years and with students’ explosion, its structures are fast wearing out, with most needing total upgrade and rehabilitation, especially the teachers accommodation and abandoned hostels, amongst others.
Speaking on the founding fathers of the college (the Londoners), Umaru Mutallab and Ali Saulawa recalled how they met and came up with the idea of the school, saying “We never thought it would transform to become what it is now. We thank God for his grace; by His grace the school is what it is today.”
“What brought about the then Community Secondary School, was the educational lacuna we realised there was between London and Nigeria.We thought there was need for us to bring something back home. They’ve gone very far academically. Then we thought the gap was small but now it is rather unimaginable.”
“I am delighted and impressed to see that the school has produced professors in many fields, Generals, engineers, doctors, and other very senior officials in the country.
“No doubt our thought never reached that far, indeed God has truly blessed the school,” said Mutallab.
He added: “The teachers in the school have done a very wonderful job.We commend them for their resilience towards uplifting the status of the school.They nurtured the students well, that’s why the students are where they are today.”
The ‘Londoners’ reps said education in Nigeria needs to be addressed as a matter of emergency, “All hands must be on deck at the federal, state, local government and even the private institutions levels.
“The government doesn’t budget enough for the educational sector in Nigeria. Any nation that lacks intellectuals, that country is in a sorry state. Education is the key, education needs to be revived, and I believe we can do it.
“In fact, we want the school to metamorphose into a university in the nearest future. Education is the key to everything; it is an investment in human resource development.”
The pioneer principal, Mohammed Dikko, said he reported at Community Secondary School, Daura, in January 1970, after all the formalities.
“As the first principal and a young graduate, it was a big challenge for me in almost all areas, though the experience I gained continued to have a profound and positive impact on my endeavours,” he said.
While noting that the permanent site of the school was along Katsina-Daura Road, with construction of classrooms, dormitories, staff houses in progress, he said most teachers were provided with decent accommodation in the town by the generosity and kind gestures of the Emir of Daura, Alhaji Muhammad Bashar.
“In fact, the school owes a lot to him as he is always disposed to render any assistance to it.
“I drew the attention of all those present to the academic work we were pursuing with all the seriousness they deserve, in order to make the school a model to be emulated by others; the efforts at getting more teachers, the disciplinary measures taken and our relationship with the community were very commendable,” he said.
He further said: “Teachers were posted to me then, some Indians. I could remember, General Gowon during his tour to Katsina came to the school, he was very pleased with it which made many people to come and ask for our model. The insinuation that the school was meant strictly for children of emirs and the elite then was very wrong.
“The elite and emirs didn’t want to be there then. But indeed quite a number went there to study,” he said.
Ex-boys speak on the school
Air Vice Marshal Chris Okoye (Rtd) was full of gratitude to the school, saying, “God has supported the school to churn out people who you can find in all spheres of life. I can say the country has benefited from its products. This school has made us better citizens and we are proud of being its products.”
For Sadaukin Daura, Tasi’u Moh’d Kaura, their aim was not just to gather and celebrate the day but to draw attention, most especially, to the younger ones that they should emulate and leave a legacy of their alma mater through the homecoming event and to thank God and their founding fathers for their foresight and efforts which empowered so many.
“We want to institutionalise some works in the school through provision of some infrastructure or rehabilitation of some to boost teaching and learning in our most cherished school,” he said.
Chairman of the Organising Committee of the ‘Government (Pilot) Secondary School, Daura @ 50’, Danburam Katsina, Alhaji Abubakar Sanusi, said the school is a clear case of what community effort can produce and the best way to advance it.
“What started from an idea, has evolved into a big thing with community involvement. This is surely the way forward for all, especially in our present community setting, that all hands must be on deck to advance community and society,” he added.