Education is power. The greatest legacy a parent, guardian, or in this case, a government can bequeath to her people. In Akwa Ibom, Governor Udom Emmanuel’s educational policy aligns with the ‘Sustainable Development Goals’, which underpins that education should respond to the changing needs of society. He believes that ‘schools should become environments that develop individual capabilities and further the idea of democracy and sensitivity to social and ecological responsibilities’.
The governor’s intervention in education is premised on his unruffled commitment to lay a solid foundation for the future. He also envisages a sophisticated workforce and optimum population for the state. In this regard, the Free and Compulsory Education has been strengthened through effective monitoring, training and retraining of teachers. To ensure that the Free & Compulsory Education Policy performs optimally, government provides a subvention of N100 and N300 to the schools for each pupils and students in public primary and secondary schools respectively.
His Excellency, Mr Udom Emmanuel in recognition of this fact, recently approved the take over of Ten Community Schools by the State Government. That means, access to the free and compulsory education for students of those schools, Infrastructure expansion, deployment of more staffers and allied benefits.
Governor Emmanuel has continued to give premium coverage for Education, even in the face of the harsh economy. He facilitated the advent of three new Secondary Schools in the State, namely, the Nigerian Navy Military school (NNMS), Ikot Ntuen, Oruk Anam Local Government Area, the newly established Army Command Science Secondary School in Efa, Etinan Local Government Area, which was refurbished and equipped to replace the Salvation Army Secondary School and the Model Girls Secondary School, Ikot Ekang, Abak Local Government Area which Governor Emmanuel commissioned and which has since commenced operation.
The internal Roads of Cornelia Corneli College, a Computer Laboratory and various renovated blocks have been commissioned by Governor Udom Emmanuel, just as several schools have benefited from the governor's intervention to provide Computer Laboratories and internet access in the schools.
Tertiary education is not left out. The Obio Akpa campus of the Akwa Ibom State University, in Oruk Anam, where six major projects commissioned by the governor include: a Digital Language Library, a commercial farm palm oil mill, a commercial farm feeds mill, vegetable screen house, Ultra Modern Mass Communication Studios and a magnificent Arts Theatre. The entire stretch of internal and access roads in the Obio Akpa campus have been constructed complete with side drains. The ultra modern digitalized Administrative Block in Akwa Ibom State University, Ikot Akpaden was commissioned by Governor Udom Emmanuel.
The College of Education, Afaha Nsit, Nsit Ibom Local Government is recording a massive face lift, as access road has already been commissioned by Governor Emmanuel and he remains committed to creating a conducive atmosphere for learning by boosting infrastructure in that tertiary institutions by completing the internal road network of the institution.
The University of Uyo just got her first Arts Gallery building courtesy of the first family to honour the memory of Late Prince Bernard Sampson Idiong and Professor Stella Idiong, parents of Her Excellency, Mrs Martha Udom Emmanuel.
The Udom Emmanuel administration has not only sustained the free and compulsory education from Pre-Primary to Senior Secondary, but consistently, undertakes payment of Senior Secondary Certificate Examination, SSCE, fees and running into hundreds of millions for all indigent students.
So many schools across the State have been given a face-lift, as the government of Governor Udom Emmanuel has intervened to renovate classroom blocks, Assembly halls, hostels and offices through the Inter Ministerial Direct Labour Committee, and ongoing supply of school desks across the State.
The under listed are the achievements recorded in the education sub-sector. Consultations with stakeholders in public and private tertiary institutions, to streamline, reposition and stabilize the school system.
- Dialogue with Unions in the state tertiary institutions to stem labour unrest.
- Inspection of schools to monitor teaching and learning to ensure compliance with the benchmark set by government.
- Inspection of schools and other educational establishments to ascertain their present state for possible infrastructural update.
- Signing of Memorandum of Understanding, (MOU) with Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF) with specific mandate to promote widespread availability and usage of telecommunication and ICT services in the state.
- Camping and training of 200 athletes sponsored by NNPC/MPN Joint Ventures.
- Consolidation with BRACED Commission and Samsung in establishing ICT Academy in the State.
- Subvention is paid at N100 per pupil and N300 per student and has been paid to all school Heads in Akwa Ibom Public Primary/Secondary schools.
- Prompt payment of salaries/emoluments of Teachers including the release of promotion to teachers.
- Celebration of World Teachers day in AKS.
- Donation of laptops/funds for internet connection for pupils/students/schools for students who recited the Dakkada creed during the 1st October celebration, 2015 celebrations.
- Distribution of laptops to 2012/2013 Law school students. Other agencies have also distributed laptops to parastatals of the Ministry e.g. Adult education Centre by UNICEF and public secondary schools by Universal Service Provision fund.
- Payment of Examination fees- WAEC, NABTEB for students in all Public Secondary Schools, in the State.
- Sponsorship of indigenes for specialized courses overseas. Recently 30 of the students graduated in India in Post Graduate Studies and have returned home to add value to the education system.
- Akwa Ibom State contingent won the 1st Position in the National STAN Science quiz competition held in Awka, Anambra State.
- Wining 3rd position prize in the yearly Maltina Teacher of the year awards by a teacher from one of the Public schools, in the state, Mr. Daniel Udiong (Chemistry) from Northern Annang Comprehensive Secondary school, Etim Ekpo
- Provision of a Model Sports Academy at West Itam Secondary School to boost extra-curricular activities in the school.
- Training of Principals/Teachers by Ministry of Education and NERDC on the new educational curriculum
- Capacity building for Some Principals in Public Secondary Schools in the state by sending them to the National Institute for Educational Planning and Administration (NIEPA), Ondo State for a workhop.
- STAN in collaboration with Mobil had a 4 day training for 800 teachers (400 primary and 400 secondary).
- MDG/NTI training for Primary school teachers at Summit Complex Hotels, Uyo. This was a residential training.
- Capacity building workshop by Counselling Association of Nigeria (Cason) for counsellors, Principals and Vice Principals of Public
- For stability in AKSU, Government approved an upward review of the Monthly Subvention and also approved payment of salary of the 279 staff recruited in 2013.
- SECONDARY EDUCATION
- Effective internal checks and control to enhance accountability and transparency
- Up to date with teachers promotion
- Appointment, posting and appropriate placement of Principals general and vice principals
- Regular inspection and supervision of schools and Local Education Committees across all areas of the state
- Promotions, conversions and confirmation have been done for deserving staff
- Proper and timely handing/taking-over of zonal offices/schools due to transfers of zonal directors/principals general
- Investigation and protection of the property of the secondary schools board from trespassers
- Facilitating the participation of schools in competitions like Shell cup championship, Etiebet football competition and basketball championship
- Ensuring 80% compliance with service rules on punctuality, truancy and loitering at the board’s headquarters and the field
- Statistical analysis of students performance in external examinations
- Launch Dakkada transformation, spiritual rebirth and re-orientation campaign in schools and LECs.
- TECHNICAL EDUCATION
- Continuation of the Free and Compulsory Education policy to all students in Technical colleges.
- Payment of examination fees for NABTEB, NTC/NBC examination fees for all students in public Technical Colleges.
- Provision of conducive learning environment through constant monitoring of academic activities and the recent approved renovation works at Government Technical Colleges – Abak.
- Prompt payment of subvention to run Technical Colleges.
- Donation of 20 pieces of laptop computer and One Million Naira for internet facility to be installed in Government Technical College – Ewet.
- Free, compulsory and qualitative education policy in public primary and secondary schools in the state
- Collaboration with the Federal Government to implement the Home Grown School Feeding programme in the State’s public primary schools.
- Training of School Inspectors, Education Officers and Principals, on quality assurance and best practices, in education in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Education, UNICEF, UNESCO, etc.
- Training of officers in Examination and Certification Division of the Ministry on ICT and computerization of examination results
- Training of 30 indigenes of Akwa Ibom State on ICT in India.
- Acreditation of courses in the state’s tertiary institutions and public technical schools.
- Training of primary school teachers on effective classroom management skills, basic classroom teaching methods and techniques, language communication skills and Information and Communication Technology (ICT).
- Organization of a 2-day Advocacy Workshop on Structure and Effective Implementation of the new Senior Secondary School Curricula in collaboration with the Nigerian Education Research and Development Council (NERDC), Abuja.
- Payment of Subvention to all School Heads and Principals of Public Primary and Post-Primary Schools at the rate of N100.00 per pupil and N300.00 per student per term;
- Generation of reliable inputs through reports from Quality Assurance Inspectors and Evaluators for renovation and rehabilitation of schools by the Inter-Ministerial Direct Labour Co-ordinating Committee;
- Procurement and distribution of free exercise books, textbooks and other educational materials, to public and private schools in key subjects like Mathematics, English Language and the Sciences;
- Payment of examination fees and scholarships to students of Akwa Ibom State origin in tertiary institutions;
- Provision of grants and laptops to Medical and Law Students respectively;
- Re-validation of private schools in the state to ensure maintenance of standards and quality control;
- Production of a Handbook for Chaplains in Schools as a prelude to introduction of Chaplaincy Services in public secondary schools;
- Development of Ibibio Language curriculum;
- Conduct of verification exercise by the Ministry of Education to ascertain the actual number of pupils in public schools in the State;
- Take over of 10 community secondary schools
- Construction & Renovation of 400 school blocks
- Strategic intervention in Tertiary Institutions - roads, equipment, academic blocks, etc
- Procurement & distribution of free text books & other educational materials
- Provision of 14,630 dual-desks to public schools in the state
- subventions to public primary & secondary schools
- over N600 million WAEC fees for indigenes in public secondary schools annually.
Udom Emmanuel is working, achieving so much in his first tenure in office despite the economic downturn the country was plunged into. Let's vote massively for him to remain in office for a second term come 2019. He will do more.