Barewa College

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Barewa College is a secondary school located in Zaria, Kaduna State. It is one of the largest boarding schools in Northern Nigeria and was the most celebrated post primary school in Northern Nigeria up to the early 1960s. The school is known for the large number of elites from the region that passed through the school's academic buildings. The school counts among its alumni, Murtala Mohammed, Yakubu Gowon, Shehu Shagari and Tafawa Balewa, all four where at one time the Nigerian Head of State.

The school's name has changed periodically mostly following changes in location. Founded in 1921 as the katsina Training College and officially opened in 1922. It was later called Katsina Higher College in 1929, about 9 years later it was transfered to Kaduna and became the Kaduna College. After a decade in Kaduna, the school was again moved to Zaria and became the Government Secondary School, Zaria, it also took the name, Government School, Zaria before its present name, Barewa College chosen in 1971.


The college was founded as the first post-primary school educational institution in Northern Nigeria and to be a training college for Muslim students tutored in the Western style of education for the future role as teachers in the Northern Nigeria region. In a few years, the college grew in reputation and included training classes for nurses, it was then improved to the status of a higher college in 1929 with the intention to expand the classes towards training professionals to mann administrative posts in the civil service.


The school is a model secondary school in Kaduna State and has five departments: science, language, humanities, vocational and technical. Its teaching staff is more than 70 with about 80% permanent teaching staff and the students are over 2,000 crammed in 30 classrooms. However, the school has seen is facilities suffer from underfunding, it dining hall sometimes lacked enough chairs to seat the students leaving many to eat in the open.

Notable alumni

  • Ibrahim Dasuki
  • Justice Mamman Nasir
  • Iya Abubakar
  • Umaru Dikko
  • Jibril Aminu
  • Ibrahim Alfa
  • Ibrahim Coomassie
  • Abu Gidado
  • Lema Jibrin
  • Umar Sanda Ndayako
  • Ahmadu Kurfi
  • Justice Mohammed Bello
  • Adamu Fika
  • Bala Usman
  • Ango Abdullahi
  • Idris Legbo Kutigi
  • Tijani Dagazau
  • Adamu Ciroma
  • Umaru Shinkafi


  • "Barewa College: Four Heads of State Studied Here", Daily Trust, August 26, 2003