Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri has tasked the state’s Ministries of Education, Information and Orientation as well as all relevant stakeholders in the education sector on the implementation of the state’s compulsory primary and secondary school education laws.
He gave the charge in Yenagoa during the week at the flag-off ceremony of an event tagged, ‘Out-Of-School Children Campaign’ organised by the Federal Ministry of Education.
Diri who stated that it was shocking to note that there were no fewer than 250,000 Out-Of-School Children in the State alone, expressed regrets that the state could have such an alarming number of children not in school, even though successive administrations of the state have made huge investments in the education sector.
The Bayelsa State Chief Executive averred that while the preceding administration in the state had made primary and secondary education in the state compulsory through the enactment of the state compulsory primary and secondary education law since 2018, the bane of educational advancement in the state, years after the making of the law was lack of implementation by the concerned MDAs and stakeholders, respectively.
“Initially when programmes such as this are carried out in Nigeria, it’s always in the North. And so people see the Southern part of the country as educationally advantaged area.
“But when I got the Out-Of-School Children statistics in Bayelsa State from the internet which stands at about 250,000 (two hundred and fifty thousand) it became more surprising that we could have such a huge number of our children not going to school in the state”, Diri said.
The Governor, who also lauded the Federal Ministry of Education for bringing the campaign to the state, reiterated his resolve to continuously improve the lots of the citizens of the state through education, noting that as a result his administration has established Science and Technical Colleges in different parts of the state to complement the existing primary and post primary schools in the state.
“A law was passed by the Bayelsa State House of Assembly on this matter in 2018. So, Mr. Minister, Bayelsa State had started addressing the issues long before now. But your coming is key as it has opened our eyes to the level of out-of-school children in our state.
“The issue is mostly about implementation. We have the laws to ensure that our children are educated. This law has to be implemented across all our communities. The Ministries of Information and Education must do all within their powers to ensure that the public is aware of this law and it is implemented.
“It is unbelievable that a law like this was enacted and assented to by a sitting Governor. Yet we have out-of-school children.Let me use this opportunity to call on parents to ensure that they take advantage of the provisions of government”. There is free primary education. Uniforms and other instructional materials are being provided by government. So, why won’t parents send their children to school?
“As a state, we will continue to prioritize education and have a paradigm shift that will be beyond certificates. We have introduced technical education and by our third anniversary we will commission some of the schools”, Governor Diri added.
In his remarks, the Minister of State for Education, Goodluck Nanah-Opiah, said education was a collective responsibility and called on all stakeholders to join forces to eradicate the menace of out-of-school children in the interest of the country.
He said the Federal Ministry of Education has put in place mechanisms to ensure that education was accessible to children of school age and appealed to the state government to continue to prioritize education.
The Minister lauded the Bayelsa government for its investment in the education sector, urging it not to relent.
A statement from the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr Daniel Alabrah quoted him having earlier called on the federal government to establish more tertiary institutions in the state to enhance and expand the frontiers of education when he received the Minister in his office at Government House, Yenagoa.
The Governor Diri’s spokesman also quoted him to have urged the federal government to release its share of educational counterpart funds to the state.
The statement read in parts: “As we speak, Bayelsa has done its counterpart funding up till 2022 and now we are eagerly awaiting the federal government counterpart funding for 2022. Help us prevail on the Universal Basic Education Commission to fast-track its contribution to the fund to ensure that our educational requirements are met. As we speak now, we are even prepared for our counterpart funding for 2023.”
By: Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa
Monarch Hails Wike Over Landing Jetty Project Award
The Amanyanabo and Traditional Ruler of ancient Ele Kingdom in Ogu/Bolo Local Government Area of Rivers State, King Felix Tamunoseipiriala Okuru Apina VII, has stated the gratefulness of his people to the State Governor, Nyesom Wike.
He said the people of Ele community will continue to be grateful to the governor for graciously supporting their “illustrious” son, Barr Vincent Nemieboka, to become the chairman of the local government area, and approving the construction of a landing jetty in the area.
King Apina vii in a statement from the palace said the people of Ele kingdom have been given a sense of belonging by these gestures, because “it is first of its kind from any governor of the state”.
The monarch noted that for the governor to remember the community in his development plans, “the people are most grateful”, assuring him that they are fully mobilised and ready to exercise their franchise in the forthcoming elections for candidates that will have the interest of the community at heart.
On behalf of the Ele Divisional Council of Chiefs and the people of Ele Kingdom, he pledged their loyalty and support, stressing that construction of the landing jetty will in no small measure alleviate the untold suffering experienced during low tide.
He also noted that the jetty will encourage business boom in the area and further assured that all necessary co-operation will be given to the contractor when the project commences.
The first citizen of the community also lauded the Chairman of the Local Government Council, Barr Vincent Nemieboka, for the construction of a Health Centre and provision of a portable drinking water for the people.
This, he said, has given the people a sense of belonging, noting that Ele Community as one of the ancient nine clans of Okrika ethnic nationality, is in dire need of other developmental projects.
Tai LGA Flags Off Construction Of Corpers’ Lodge
The Tai local Government Area has flagged off the construction of an eighth bedroom corpers lodge at Botem Community in Tai local Government Area.
The lodge, according to the council Engineer, is made up of four rooms for male and four for female.
Flagging off the project on behalf of the council, Rivers State Commissioner for Transport, Dr.Jacobson Nbina, said the project, which was in line with the desires of the people, will help to improve education in the area.
Nbina, who is Chairman of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) Campaign Council, said the project has further increased the chances of the party’s victory in the forthcoming election in the area.
He urged the people to reciprocate the gesture by maintaining the facility when it is completed.
Meanwhile, the Senator representimg Rivers South East in the National Assembly, Senator Barinada Mpigi, has rated the Tai Local Government Council high in the execution of projects.
Speaking during a ward-to-ward and unit-to-unit campaign at Ward 8, Sime Tai, Mpigi said the Mbakpone administration has embarked on people-oriented projects across the LGAs.
He said the projects, which range from markets, water, roads, security, and others, have improved the living conditions of the people.
The Senator particularly commended the Chairman for the corpers’ lodge, stressing that it will help to boost education, not only in Botem, but that communities around the area will also benefit from the gesture.
Also speaking, Chairman of Tai Local Government Council, Hon.Mbakpone Okpe, said the project was in fulfilment of his electioneering promises to the community.
He said he told them to nominate a project and they nominated a corpers lodge.
Okpe said the project will be completed and commissioned within the next three months.
On the ward-to-ward and unit-to-unit campaigns, the council boss said so far four Wards have been visited in the area.
He said the campaign was to explain to the people the importance of voting for candidates of the PDP during the forthcoming elections.
The Tai Council boss also thanked the people for their massive turned out for the campaign.
Also speaking, the Member representing Tai in the Rivers State House of Assembly, Hon Matthew Dike, said the people of Tai are happy with the administration of Governor Ezenwo Nyesom Wike.
He said the people will reciprocate it by voting massively for candidates of the PDP during the election.
The campaign train visited wards one and eight.
By: John Bibor
‘Naira Redesign, Ill-Timed’
The Rivers State Chapter of the Nigerian Computer Society (NCS) has described as ill-timed the Naira redesign policy of the Federal Government.
The society also called for the establishment of a Ministry of Science And Technology in Rivers State.
Chairman of the Society, Dr. Legborsi Emmanuel, said this at the quarterly general meeting of the branch in Port Harcourt.
Emmanuel said the Naira redesign program is coming at a time when Nigerians are batlling with the fuel price hike.
“NCS supports cashless policy, but increasing the sufferings of the Nigerian masses at a time we are battling with fuel price hike by taking out the old notes when we do not have enough of the new notes in the commercial banks have ended up putting pressure on the good people of Nigeria”, he said.
According to him, the programm has further contributed towards the destruction of the falling economy that needed to be well protected by the Federal Government.
He said the situation will provide opportunity for all Ministries, Departments, and Agencies to integrate all their data and operate seamlessly in the state.
He described the theme of the meeting, which is, “The use of ICT As A tool For Social Re-Engineering And Economic Transformation of Nigeria”, and the lecture, as a call to duty.
Speaking on the topic, “The use of ICT As A tool for social Re-Engineering and Economic Transformation of Nigeria”, from Canada, through zoom, Mr. Oraye Franklin said the present administration in Rivers State should be commended for it’s information communications and Technology (ICT) policy.
He expressed the hope that incoming administrations will built upon it to further improve the sector.
Franklin said the deployment of ICT can be used to solve the multifaceted problems of Nigerians.
According to him, ICT can be used to address socio-economic problems of Nigerians, ranging from the health sector to a general improvement in the conditions of lives of the people.
He specifically said ICT has helped to check the spread of dieseas, thereby enhancing access to quality health care services.
He said the situation has allowed for greater transperancy In governance , improved productivity in public sector, and help farmers boost productivity.
He also stressed the need for both State and Federal Governments to support and encourage the development of the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) with the view to expanding the economy.
The event also featured the presentation of the society’s 2023 budget.
By; John Bibor
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