Children and youths who lost their parents to insurgency face the challenge of many competing priorities, including education. To ameliorate their education needs, the First Lady, Aisha Buhari established the Future Assured College (FAC) in Maiduguri.
The gesture has received accolades from many residents of the area mostly orphans affected by insurgency for giving them the opportunity to continue with their academic pursuit both in Western and Quranic education through a compressive scholarship.
The students of FAC established by Aisha Buhari Future Assured Foundation, said they remained grateful to the first lady for providing them the opportunity to not only read and write but to also speak in English and Arabic.
One of the students, Aisha Ahmed, 13 year old, from Gwoza Local Government Area (LGA) of Borno, who wants to be a doctor in the future, said she was most grateful for the opportunity of being a student in the college.
“We are grateful to God and the first lady for impacting positively on our lives.
“We pray God to continue to bless her and all those who contributed and are contributing to the survival of this college, “Ahmed said.
Another student from Kaga LGA, who also wants to be a doctor, Mustafa Bashir, said he could not read and write properly until he came to the college that now, provided him hope and confidence of facing the future.
Suraiya Ibrahim from Kala-Balge LGA and Mohammed Babagana from Abadam LGA said the first lady’s intervention through the college would continue to remain one of the greatest memories in their lives.
“The first lady gives us that feeling of a loving mother and we remain eternally grateful to her,” Ibrahim said.
The Director of the college, Dr Abubakar Yusuf, said the establishment of the college in 2021 was in response to the mayhem caused in the years of destruction by insurgency.
He also the killings carried out by the insurgency led to over 50,000 orphans left vulnerable to all forms of vices.
“The outcry from the government and people of Borno State for support and intervention prompted a timely response of Her Excellency Hajiya Aisha Buhari the First Lady, through her pet project, the Future Assured Foundation, to establish the Future Assured College.
“The college which is mainly for orphan children is situated in Maiduguri and covers a land mass of 21,000 square metres.
“It is in a serene environment conducive for learning and is equipped with the state of the art facilities of international standard,” Yusuf said.
According to Yusuf, Gov. Babagana Zulum of Borno, who was impressed by the performance of the college with a population of 420 students, has provided additional 4,000 square metres for expansion.
“This is apart from provision of the foodstuff for daily breakfast and lunch for the students’’, he said.
He said the college also offers weekend programmes to women in the community as part of its social responsibility.
The director said the school which has a special curriculum for its students that experienced trauma, also has a mission of providing a comprehensive learning.
“This is where education and character will be provided as well as to produce Nigerians that see unity in diversity.
“Our aims and objectives among others is to boost up the quality of life of the orphans, to change the abhorrent situation of the orphans to idyllic state of the college and training of future leaders of the country.
“To heal the traumas experienced by the orphans, to create spirit of sympathy and stamp out probable acts of vengeance in the orphans, to help create an environment free from religious and social radicalism.
“To oppositely train and empower women, especially helpless widows and divorcees, to assist Government in its fight against illiteracy and to strengthen the long separated relationship between education and morality,” the director said.
The Deputy Director of the college, Abdullahi Musa, and the Principal of the college, Amina Babakura, who spoke on quality of education and discipline in the college, said it could contest with the best school in Borno.
They said the college has a Pre-Junior Secondary School (PJSS), where students learn how to write and speak fluently in English and Arabic before being admitted into JSS 1.
They said the school only recruit qualified teachers, who go through three steps of screening before being employed.
They also undergo mandatory three weeks of development training by experts from University of Maiduguri and other tertiary institutions.
“Our students and teachers are highly disciplined. For instance, the school is not a boarding school but by 7.30 a.m. all students and teachers are already in school.
“We appreciate the commitment of the students and their guardians to punctuality and discipline”, Musa said.
Sumaiya Hussaini, Amina Jibril and Ibrahim Mohammed, teachers in the school, expressed satisfaction with their jobs and the availability of standard facilities for teaching and learning in the school.
“It’s far better than the schools we left to come here in terms of everything, “Mohammed said.
They urged philanthropists and organisations to invest in providing quality education to less privileged. (NANFeatures)