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Encroachment: Kaduna’s oldest commercial college on the verge of extinction

Government Commercial College (GCC), Zaria, the oldest commercial college in Kaduna state, is faced with some existential challenges that may bring its existence to an end, Dateline can report.
Investigation by our reporter revealed that the major threat the college is facing is the trespassing on a large chunk of its land for the establishment of a day school.

For the fact that, GCC is a boarding school, many parents in the state are not comfortable with the idea of sending their wards to the college, because of many factors, investigation shows.

Some of the factors, our investigation revealed, include the security challenges bedeviling the state, as well as poor facilities in the school.

Inside of the hostels in GCC

Because of the foregoing, the students’ population in GCC is declining with only few students from neighbouring local governments staying in the college as boarding students, it was exclusively gathered.

Investigation also shows that even during exist examinations of WAEC and NECO, GCC has to “beg” for students from the neighbouring schools to augment the number of its students in order to meet the requirement for registration.

It was gathered that, the new day school that was carved out of the GCC, is now working hard to have its own centres for WAEC and NECO and if that happens, GCC’s centres will cease to exist “and it will be the beginning of an end for the school.”

Side view of a hostel in GCC

Attempts to speak with the school’s principal and other officials failed, as all of them cited their status of civil servants who are not allowed to talk to the press.
However, the President of GCC’s Old Students’ Association, Alhaji Aminu Mohammed Turaki, said the association is aware of the problems and they are doing everything possible to liaise with the relevant stakeholders to address them.

He said: “I have to first of all appreciate the state governor, Malam Nasir El-Rufai, who has approved the rehabilitation of the school. However, the work is going at an extremely slow pace, as this is about the third year since the commencement of the rehabilitation work and not much was achieved. If the school is fenced, it will give confidence to parents to allow their wards to stay in the school as boarding students.”

He added: “We are trying to let the state government see reason to allow the school to run boarding and day sessions. In our view, this will bring more students to the school, especially from the neighbouring communities. This used to be the system before the decision to turn the school to boarding only. If government insists in retaining GCC as boarding school, then the necessary facilities that will attract students have to be in place.

“This is a school that has been graduating students since the 1970s, some of them are presently in our fold; therefore, it will be a great setback if the government allows a historic edifice like GCC to go into extinction.

“GCC is a peer of schools like Barewa, Alhudahuda and many prominent schools in Kaduna state. We are appealing to government to retrieve back GCC’s land and use the numerous government-owned lands within the vicinity to relocate the newly established school.”

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