The Christian missionaries who worked in Nigeria include Rev. T.B. Freeman of the Methodist Mission, Rev. Henry Townsend of the C.M.S. Mission, Rev. Ajayi Crowther of the same mission and Rev. Hope Waddel of the Church of Scothand mission.
Indeed, the basic philosophy of the Christian Mission education was to convert souls and civilize people through Western education for societal change and development, hence education is knowledge and knowledge is power.
Education also eliminates fear, poverty, ignorance and decease in the society, it makes people easy to lead and difficulty to enslave, easy to govern but impossible to drive.
This is why the administration of Rt. Hon. Chibuike Amaechi, Executive Governor of Rivers State focused on improvement in the educational sector in the State.
In fact, the reconstitution of Universal Basic Education Board under the leadership of Sir Ali Oretumeka by governor Amaechi was a welcome development judging from poor service delivery by the past administration.
Surely, the success of any organization particularly the education sector is directly hinged on proper and dynamic planning, efficient management and adequate financing and control, active inspection, supervision and concerted evaluation which has been the cardinal objective of Sir, Oretumeka’s agenda aimed at restoring public confidence in education sector.
Beside, the appointment of a seasoned administrator, one time local government committee chairman and permanent secretary came at a crucial period when merit is the watchword.
Obviously teaching and non teaching staff, pupils and students now work and study happily, while various schools have started wearing a new look. The on-going promotion exercise and restoration of annual increment and harmonisation of staff salary grade levels have been receiving attention.
Infact, Governor Amaechi has sincerely demonstrated his magnanimity in tackling the problems facing primary education in the state. He has kept faith with his promises that he was going to wage a spirited war against all obstacles militating against the educational sector in the state.
Indeed, since a journey of one mile begins with one step, the choice of Orutemeka as the UBE umpire was based on competence, experience and managerial capability to forestall the hardship, experienced by teachers in the recent past, which calls for celebration. The present administration under the leadership of Governor Amaechi has fully recognized education as an instrument par excellence for effecting national development and growth of human resources.
However, it is only natural that government should clarify the philosophy and objectives in primary education, and spell out in clear terms, the policies that guide government’s educational effort.
It is the government’s desire to remove any existing contradictions, and ambiguities in primary education to ensure an even and orderly development of the sector for the benefit of all citizens.
Ironically, in pursuance of these objectives, government, on its own, has made primary and post primary education completely free and compulsory through the implementation of the Universal Basic Education programme.
The construction of model primary and post primary schools, improvement in the welfare of the staff has been government’s cardinal agenda. Consequently, the task ahead of Sir Ali Orutemeka include, engagement of qualified staff, regular payment of salaries and allowances, harmonisation of staff grade levels, addressing the issue of annual promotions and increment, proper placement of personal based on their educational qualifications to enhance efficiency, regular inspection, supervision and evaluation of teachers performance to encourage vibrancy among teachers.
The administrative efficacy demonstrated by Sir, Orutemeka, the Executive Chairman on assumption of office has attracted commendation from teaching and non teaching staff, urging him to sustain the tempo.
It is instructive, that purposeful administration owes it as a duty to appoint people of high integrity to mange important establishments such as the RSUBEB for restoration of quality education at the primary and junior Secondary levels.
The management staff of RSUBEB should therefore close ranks with the Executive Chairman and his board in cementing the gains so far recorded.
The management should equally see planning as a blueprint for action as planning involves the development of strategy and procedure required for effective realization of the entire plan, for overall development and achievement of an organizational objective
Perhaps, it becomes necessary to suggest that, appointment of HODs and other unit heads should follow due process, hence, educational qualification should be a prerequisite for such considerations.
Agumuo wrote from Omuma.
Godspower Ibe Agomuo