The Rivers State Government has restated its determination to ensure free and compulsory qualitative education in all public schools in the state.
Making the declaration last Thursday at the first quarterly meting of the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) management with executive chairman of State Universal Basic Education Boards in Port Harcourt, the state Governor, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi emphasized that “we have the will to do it, and we will continue to do it, God being our helper.”
Amaechi, who was represented by Barrister Osima Ginah, the state commissioner for Urban Development, noted that steps have been taken to ensure the success of the free education projects in the state.
He recalled that towards this end, the sum of N70 billion was appropriated to education in the 2010 approved budget in addition to the construction of child-friendly schools spread across the state in order to provide the best facilities for all.
“We believe that the children of the poor and those in the rural areas also deserve the good things of life,” he said.
According to the Governor, these and other notable steps were taken on the realisation that the education sector was almost moribund.
“On assumption of office in October 2007, my administration was faced with stark reality of a comatose education sector. Infrastructure were degenerating, while the morale of teachers and education managers was at its lowest ebb.
“Instructional materials could at best be described as scarce commodities as teachers unconsciously levied pupils and students to raise funds for the procurement of these needed materials for teaching and learning,” the Governor said.
Consequently, “we quickly realised that if growth and advancement of the state would be achieved, the citizenry must be properly educated as this will also liberate them from the shackles of poverty.”
So far, the governor explained that “all hindrances to the acquisition of education have been removed with the construction of model primary/secondary school fitted and equipped with modern world class facilities.”
In his opening speech, the executive secretary, UBEC, Dr Ahmed Modibbo Mohammed eulogised the state government in the provision of quality infrastructure and equipment of such schools, saying that Rivers State has set the pace for quality education in the country.
He explained that the essence of the quarterly meeting of UBEC management with SUBEB chairman has been to constantly review progress in basic education delivery in order to keep abreast with the UBE mandate.
Earlier in his welcome address, the executive chairman of RSUBEB, Dr Orutemeka, enumerated what the board had been doing towards the fulfillment of quality education in the state.
According to him, “on the part of the board, we have intensified monitoring and evaluation of teaching and learning, restructure and merged schools for greater efficiency, carried out needs based training programmes for both teaching and non-teaching staff, provided teaching aids and consumables in schools, executed achievement tests for pupils, and maintained good relations with our various publics, including the UBEC, Abuja.
Ikpeazu Charges Stakeholders To Sustain, Improve Gains Made In Education
Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu has challenged the state’s Ministry of Education to rise to its co-ordinating responsibility that will build stronger synergy amongst major stakeholders in the education sector.
He said the synergy must align with the global vision of producing children capable of being society’s desirable leaders of tomorrow.
Ikpeazu who gave the charge during a meeting with education managers in the state at his Aba Lodge identified capacity building, conducive learning environment and harmony among the education stakeholders as the leading factors toward the vision of bequeathing qualitative education for Abia children by his administration.
He noted that the setting up of the Continuing Education Center for teachers training, renovation of about 700 classroom blocks, the building of four model schools, procurement of smart boxes to enable Abia State Universal Education Board (ASUBEB) startup with the digital teaching platform for Abia children were all aimed at equipping school children for their future endeavours and enable them compete favourably with their peers.
The Governor also disclosed that plans have already been concluded to establish a Garment Factory within the year in addition to Enyimba Automated Shoe Factory which will produce uniforms and shoes for school children
He described them as motivations towards realising and sustaining high public school enrollment which the State’s School Feeding Programme has achieved.
He also reminded the stakeholders of the need to adopt innovations and technological ways of teaching that will expose the children to the current and dynamic learning trends of today’s world, adding that education is a pillar and enabler to any career which his administration recognised and adopted even to the point of formalising artisanal shoemaking.
Contributing, the Deputy Governor, Sir Udo Oko Chukwu expressed appreciation to the Governor for the immense interest he has shown towards improving the education sector which he described as a paradigm shift to the global challenge, and encouraged the education stakeholders to complement these efforts by restructuring the school system of the state.
Anambra Begins Recruitment Of Primary School Teachers
Anambra State Government has commenced recruitment of 500 teachers into primary schools across the state to enhance teaching and learning.
Chairman, State House of Assembly Committee on Basic Education, Hon. Ejike Okechukwu disclosed this at the House of Assembly complex in Awka during an interactive session between the committee and Head Teachers in Aguata Local Government Education Authority.
He explained that the recruitment exercise would fill the gap created by primary school teachers who had retired from active service and improve the standard of primary education in the state.
He assured that all challenges outlined by the Head teachers hindering the progress of primary schools across the state would be tackled to the barest minimum to ensure the upliftment of education standard in the state.
Okechukwu encouraged the teachers to remain dedicated to duty and shun all forms of sharp practices that could portray the state in bad light.
Reacting, Education Secretary, Aguata Local Government Education Authority, Lady Ijeabalum Obi commended government’s performance in education sector.
She explained that the meeting offered the teachers and the committee the opportunity to brainstorm on ways to sustain the state’s legendary performance in education and tackle issues bordering on teachers welfare.
In a vote of thanks, Mrs. Ebere Nwankwo from Eziagulu Primary School, Ekwulobia appreciated the committee for living up to expectations, pledging the teachers’ preparedness to follow the lawmakers’ directives.
Educationist Wants Early Introduction Of Art To Learners
Director of Studies at Pampers Private School and Rainbow College, Dr. Olayinka Oduwole, has said Art should be introduced to children in the early years as it aids physical, cognitive, and behavioral developments.
Oduwole in a statement made available to The Tide, said Art was a creative expression that nurtures the imagination and allows children to externalise their feelings.
To celebrate Children’s Day this year and improve learners artistic skills, he said the learners of Pampers Private Schools and Rainbow College published a joint e-book titled, “A Collection of Stories by Pampers Private School and Rainbow College.”
“Through painting, sculpture, collage, music, dancing, acting, clay, drawing, or any other medium, art is a way for children to work through emotions, make decisions, and express their ideas. It should be introduced to children in the early years to aid physical, cognitive, and behavioral development. When children work together on art projects, they interact and share with their peers. This collaborative work promotes social learning.”
He explained that children who performed arts regularly had been noticed to control their emotions and expressed the same in productive ways.
“Manipulating art materials provides children with a sense of freedom while encouraging focus and concentration, this informs the rationale for the promotion of art education and creativity as the bedrock of Rainbow College curriculum plan and implementation,” he said.
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