Direct link to scholarships offered by  Govt. of India

List of Private NGOs offering scholarships

Abu Marwan Abdal Malik Ibn Zuhr: ‘Avenzoar’

Abu Marwan Abdal Malik Ibn Zuhr, known in the west as Avenzoar, was

Ummid Assistant

Gandhi Fellowship for Nation Building

Welcome Guest! You are here: Home » Education

Why Ansarul-Islam is the best primary school in Nigeria

Friday December 31, 2010 05:19:08 PM, IINA

Abuja (Nigeria): What will you say if you were asked to debate the topics: “Women education is better than men education” or “Doctors are more useful in the society than farmers” or “Farmers are more useful in the society than teachers.” What will you say either for or against each of the topic? What points will you muster to win your argument?

Those were the debate topics given to pupils of all primary schools in Nigeria to talk about and Ansarul-Islam G.U.B.E.A. Primary School, Kuntu, Ilorin emerged the best or the winner out of them. The school which was founded in 1967 by the notable Islamic scholar, Sheikh Muhammed Kamaldeen was later taken over by the State government in 1976 during the military era.

For each of the topics, the points made by the pupils, their gestures and gesticulations, their elocution and eloquence, their power of delivery were assessed and scored. At the end of it all, Ansarul-Islam was adjudged the best.

On quiz competition the pupils were drilled on general current affairs such as “which state is known as centre of excellence?” ” the Senate President”, “which Speaker of the House of Representatives was impeached for corruption,” among others.


Specific time was allotted to the question within which the students must answer the question carrying 2 points each. If they failed to answer within the specified time or gave the wrong answer then bonus point of 1 is allocated to their opponents if they too gave the correct answer.

In an interview with Education Review, Abubakar Mohammed, one of the school’s representatives in the debate and quiz competition, said, he was a bit jittery at the initial stage of the competition because some of the contestants were from Abuja private schools but after a while “I discovered that they are not better than any of us from public schools. By the second round, we summoned up courage and put in our best to beat the other schools. Though I was not close to my other colleagues before the competition, now we are very close; the competition has united us. Now we are the best of friends and we shall continue to develop the relationship.”

Asked what he wants to be in life, he said he wants to be a pilot because he is fascinated by the way pilots fly or maneuver the plane in the air.


Idayat Abdulsalam who also represented the school along with other members of the team wants to be a nurse not only because she wants to help save lives but also because she loves the way they dress.

Tucked in a corner of the city of Ilorin in West Local Government Area of the state, Ansarul-Islam Primary School hardly cuts the image of a school that will make it to the top as far as learning and knowledge in Nigerian education system is concerned. It never occurred to Hajiya Rahinat M. Ottan, the 19th head teacher of the school, that a school with such a humble beginning, with about 200 pupils and less than five classrooms will, one day, emerge an overall-winner in the country, over better-built and better-equipped competitors.

Speaking with Education Review, in her office in Ilorin, Ottan who was appointed headmistress in 2004 but later transferred to the school, 2006, said she saw the need to set up a Literary and Debating Club in the school as she did where she was coming from. Being a graduate of English/Education, she believed that that will help the pupils to express themselves.

“I started this assignment of producing the best students in my locality when I was made the headmistress of Iwanu ‘B’ G.U.B.E.A. School Ilorin,” Ottan recalls. “I started by organizing debate and quiz contests among my students at all levels and later extended it to schools in my neighbourhood after I asked and got the approval of the State Education Authority.

“Various debating and quiz competitions have been organized among schools in Ilorin –West comprising about 68 primary schools, both private and public schools and my students have been performing above students from other schools. My students once represented the Local Government at the State level and came first and proceeded to represent the state at the zonal level, that is, the North Central Zone comprising Kwara, Niger, Kogi, Nassarawa, Benue and Plateau states. It was as the representative of North Central Zone that we emerged the winner of the prestigious presidential award as the best primary school in the federation, as far as debate and knowledge of quiz questions, is concerned.”

When asked the secret of her success, Ottan answered that it is determination, diligence and faith in the reward from Allah. These were what opened the door of opportunities for the school to attain its present status, she insisted.

Speaking on how she felt as a winning participant in the competition, the leader of the team, 10-year-old Falilat Quadir, who also happens to be the head girl of the school, said she was happy that she was part of the history-making win. The girl who wants to be a medical doctor expressed her joy over the victory and urged her colleagues not to relent in their efforts to make the nation proud even at the international level.

The school has recorded series of achievements since Ottan took over the headship. They include the winning, by three of its teachers, of the Bournvita award for best teachers. But the icing on the cake is their emergence as the overall best Primary School in quiz competition in Nigeria. It was not something achieved on the platter of gold though as Ottan had to do some battles with her staff, who initially misunderstood her mission, something she attributes to palpable ignorance rather than deliberate mischief and pettiness.

“Initially, some teachers saw me as a tyrant but later they relented in their hostile attitude towards me. I was blackmailed as being too harsh but with time the staff came to understand that what I was doing was for the benefit of the school,” she says. “Right now, we are the best of friends.”

Mrs. Remi Adetoun, the class teacher in charge of primary six, confirmed this when she described the head teacher “as a good leader who abhors indiscipline, in whatever form, from both staff and students of the school” while Mrs. Rachel Adedayo, the assistant head teacher of the school believes that “this award of excellence is as a result of the efforts of the school authority under the leadership of the headmistress who is not only a mistress but also a mother.” She therefore urged parents and guardians of the school to join the teachers in nurturing their wards to higher level in life.

Ottan is not happy about one thing though: the frequent transfer of her teachers to other schools. “Since we started our winning streaks, my teachers have been constantly transferred which presently leaves the school short of teachers,” she complained to Education Review.


“Some of these teachers are taken to secondary schools while no replacement has been made. When I complained to the management they asked me to continue the training I am giving to my teachers because they were transferred to where they will be more useful. Despite the setback, we have continued to trudge on without looking back.”








  Bookmark and Share                                          Home | Top of the Page


Note: By posting your comments here you agree to the terms and conditions of

Comments powered by DISQUS

More Headlines

Two Pakistani judges lobbying for promotion face action

Kerala education channel to go online Jan 1

Arbitration will be our last resort: Smart City Dubai

We won't pay blood money, say Indians on UAE death row

Fogged out at India-Pakistan border, but tea keeps spirits high

Nitish Kumar: Runaway winner as person of the year

India studying conditions of nationals in Gulf states

Facebook beats Google as most visited in 2010

Vice chancellors appointed for two Maharashtra varsities

India decides to cast 'chavanni' to history

Shiv Sena students' wing sweeps Mumbai varsity polls

German solar firms came up empty-handed in India in 2010




Top Stories

2010 in Retrospect

Buoyant Indian IT industry rebounds but remains cautious

Recovering from global tech meltdown, the resilient Indian IT industry returned to high growth during a tumultuous 2010 but is cautiously   »

Land, mining and sex scandals mar Karnataka's image

Tendulkar, India broke new ground in international cricket


Picture of the Day

Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) unveiled a medium size Aerostat Surveillance System seen moored at Agra on December 28, 2010.

(Photo: DPR Defence)


  Most Read

Women Commission to probe case against Tehelka reporter

The National Commission for Women has decided to probe into the issue of the case charged by the Karnataka police against journalist KK Shahina. Commission chairperson Ms   »

Kerala education channel to go online Jan 1

Now you can watch Kerala government's education channel live on your laptop as it will go online in the new year. IT@School ViCTERS (Virtual Classroom Technology on Edusat for Rural Schools) is the only channel in the state to air specific curriculum-based programmes, international   »


  News Pick

Telangana Report submitted, will be made public Jan 6

The B.N. Srikrishna Committee report on Telangana has been submitted to the home ministry and   »

Ahead of Srikrishna report, security tightened in Andhra

Suspects in Denmark deny plot to attack newspaper

Three men arrested in Denmark on suspicion of planning an attack on a Danish newspaper denied the allegations when their remand custody hearing opened Thursday outside Copenhagen. Prosecutor Lykke Sorensen   »

India studying conditions of nationals in Gulf states

As part of an ambitious plan to improve the conditions of its workers in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states, the Indian government has teamed up with the Center for Development Studies (CDS) on a pilot project   »

We won't pay blood money, say Indians on UAE death row

Claiming innocence, 17 Indians sentenced to death for killing a Pakistani man in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have refused to settle the case by paying blood money to the victim's family as recompense for   »

Two Pakistani judges lobbying for promotion face action

Two Pakistani judges have been issued show-cause notices for trying to influence the Lahore High court chief justice for their promotion and posting. The Daily Times reported Friday that Lahore High Court Chief Justice Ijaz Ahmad   »



RSS  |  Contact us

| Quick links



Subscribe to

Ummid Assistant






About us




Government Schemes











Contact us





      Disclaimer | Terms of Use | Advertise with us | Link Exchange is part of the Awaz Multimedia & Publications providing World News, News Analysis and Feature Articles on Education, Health. Politics, Technology, Sports, Entertainment, Industry etc. The articles or the views displayed on this website are for public information and in no way describe the editorial views. The users are entitled to use this site subject to the terms and conditions mentioned.

© 2010 Awaz Multimedia & Publications. All rights reserved.