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GOV EMMANUEL LAUDS AKWA IBOM PUBLIC SCHOOLS STUDENTS FOR WINNING NAT’L COMPETITION

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GOV EMMANUEL LAUDS AKWA IBOM PUBLIC SCHOOLS STUDENTS FOR WINNING NAT’L COMPETITION

Akwa Ibom State Governor

Ndifreke P. Akpan (Govt House)

Two students of Northern Annang Secondary Commercial School, Utu Etim Ekpo who recently won the 2018 Stockholm Junior Water Prize Competition at Abuja have been awarded Scholarships to University level by the Akwa Ibom State Government.

Governor Udom Emmanuel announced this on Tuesday, when he granted audience to the students who also demonstrated before him, the Water Purification Process that brought them the First position during the competition.

The Governor stated that the State was proud of the Nothern Annang Secondary Commercial School which, as a public school, was able to beat all the private institutions in the contest and pledged to further assist in infrastructural development in the school for them to do more even during Senior School Certificate Examinations.

“I will send the Head of the Civil Service or Secretary to the State Government, with the Commissioner for Education to visit your school before you people will vacate this term to actually see what government can do a little more.”

Mr Emmanuel assured the students, Blessing Utibe Umoukpong and Iniso Edward who visited the Government House, Uyo alongside their chemistry teacher, Mr Daniel Sunday Udiong and the programme coordinator, Mr Otu Uwem Robert, that the Head of Civil Service will work out modalities for the sponsorship of their studies in the University while assistance will be extended to the teacher and the coordinator.

According to the Governor, “there is no point giving the students cash, they are too young to manage cash. When they came during 27th May, they said I should not just prepare them for the future, I should prepare the future for them.”

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The Governor who noted that the feat attained by the students during the competition in the Swiss Embassy at Abuja was encouraging, enjoined the teacher to groom students from the school to come out with maximum of credit in sciences and related subjects during the senior school examinations.

Governor Emmanuel also commended the Programme Coordinator, Mr Otu Uwem Robert for the sacrifices he made to ensure the success of the students during the competition and promised to defray his expenses in the whole exercise.

He advised him to improve upon the materials used in the Water Purification Process by the students and follow up on what should be done to ensure that the two students, represent Nigeria effectively at the competition with 36 other countries holding between August 25th and 31st this year in Sweden.

Earlier, the Commissioner for Education, Professor Victor Inoka had introduced the visiting team to the Governor and told the State Chief Executive that the victorious students demonstrated the use of natural fibre to purify water during the Abuja competition.

He commended the patriotism of the Coordinator who, at a short notice, facilitated the participation of the students in the event.

The Commissioner said, “the students are here to thank you for the qualitative education you have provided for them to enable them compete with their peers even in private schools.”

Professor Inoka stated that the Governor’s avowed commitment to raise the standard of education in the state was yielding dividends as shown in the good performance of a local public school in Akwa Ibom in the midst of top private schools across the country.

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The Coordinator, Mr Robert, said many outstanding private schools took part in the competition that saw the public school in Etim Ekpo, emerged top.

He said apart from going to compete at the annual event in Stockholm, Sweden, plans were on to send the students to the National Water Resources Institute in Kaduna for training.

In his words, “the event to be hosted by the Stockholm International Water Institute carries a price of $15,000 with scholarships for the participants and other benefits to Akwa Ibom as a co-sponsor.”

The event was witnessed by the Secretary to State Government, Dr Emmanuel Ekuwem, Head of the Civil Service, Mrs Ekereobong Akpan, Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Charles Udoh, Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Welfare, Dr Glory Edet that of Environment and Mineral Resources, Dr Nse Essien, Permanent Secretaries and others.

Education

A’Ibom State Polytechnic has improved Academically and Physically – Dr. Samuel Edet

Edet said the institution successfully secured accreditation for 32, out of 33 courses presented before the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE), saying according to the Exit Report from the NBTE, it was the first time an institution recorded such feat.

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A’Ibom State Polytechnic has improved Academically and Physically – Dr. Samuel Edet

Acting Chairman of the Akwa Ibom State Polytechnic Governing Council, Dr Samuel Edet, said the Governing Council has enjoyed a good working relationship with the present management of the school, saying there has been remarkable improvements in terms of physical structures and academic performance in the state-owned Polytechnic.

He was making the remarks during a Press Conference in the School, Friday, as part of programmes to mark the 6th Convocation Ceremony of the Institution.

Edet said the institution successfully secured accreditation for 32, out of 33 courses presented before the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE), saying according to the Exit Report from the NBTE, it was the first time an institution recorded such feat.


While describing the Institution’s graduands as being of high standard, Dr Edet said the school is one of the Polytechnics with the best Information and Communications Technology (ICT) facilities in Nigeria and pledged that the Governing Council under his able leadership, remains undaunted in ensuring the institution attains an enviable height.

On his part, Acting Rector of Institution, Dr Moses Umohobong, said the conferment of
National Diploma (ND) and Higher National Diploma (HND) on Students who completed their academic programmes for the 2014/2015, 2015/2016, 2016/2017 and 2017/2018 academic sessions, will hold in the Institution’s premises, on Saturday, May 11, 2019.

Flanked by the Registrar, Dr (Mrs) Mary Ndah, the Rector pointed out that the State Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel who will grace the event as Special Guest, is expected to perform the foundation laying ceremony of the 52 Rooms Udom Emmanuel Academic Block.

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He said the institution will use the event to confer Fellowship Awards on some deserving personalities and also exhibit some works done by its students.

While thanking Governor Emmanuel for his support to the School, Dr Umohobong said said the institution has zero tolerance for cultism and further assured that necessary security measures have been put in place to ensure a hitch-free convocation ceremony.

He said the institution has written officially to government on its intention to gain accreditation for other courses, especially, mechanical engineering.

About 9,096 Students shall convocate during the event.

The Akwa Ibom State Polytechnic was established by Akwa Ibom State Government Edict No. 11 of 1991. The decision to establish the Institution was taken after the creation of Akwa Ibom State from Cross River State in 1987.

Major Credits from Uwakmfon Dan

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Education

New Akwa Poly Rector resumes office, Takes over from Israel Affia

The new acting rector of Akwa Ibom State Polytechnic, Dr. Moses Umobong has resumed office following the expiration tenure of the immediate past rector, Dr. Israel Affia.

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New Akwa Poly Rector resumes office, Takes over from Israel Affia

Dr. Moses Umobong in a warm embrace of Dr. Isreal Afia

Dr. Moses Umobong in a warm embrace of Dr. Isreal Afia

The new acting rector of Akwa Ibom State Polytechnic, Dr. Moses Umobong has resumed office following the expiration tenure of the immediate past rector, Dr. Israel Affia.

At the taking over ceremony which took place at the council chambers of the institution, Ikot Osurua, Ikot Ekpene Local Government Area on Friday, saw the outgone rector handing over all the school documents at his disposal to the newly appointed acting rector.

Presenting the documents, the outgone rector, Dr. Israel Affia thanked God for taking from the beginning to the end of his tenure. Dr. Affia, who served for two terms of six years said he was happy to have finished his tenure in good health and still strong.

He noted that his position as rector of the institution was a race which he had passed through difficulties in the course of discharging his duties, adding that through the support of the Governing Council members, management staff and students he recorded successes in the institution.

According to him, “I want to thank God for the race I have just finished. I passed through a lot of blackmails, criticisms and frustrations, but God saw me through. My prayer is that God that saw me through will see my successor through.”

The two-term rector said he was leaving the institution better than the way he met it six years ago, and that he was fulfilled with his achievements. He used the ceremony to congratulate his successor, Dr. Moses Umobong on his appointment, praying God to help him succeed in his tenure even as he described him as his close friend whom he has been working together.

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In his words, “I call on everyone to rally around my successor in office. I am available for any kind of advice he may need from me. Do not make those mistakes that I made knowingly or unknowingly.” Affia however, openly opologized to people he might have steeped on toes in the course of discharging his duties and pleaded for forgiveness.

In his acceptance speech, the new acting rector, Dr. Moses Umobong said he was honoured to have been appointed by Governor Udom Emmanuel and subsequently taking over the mantle leadership position of the institution.

He commended his predecessor, Dr. Israel Affia for successfully discharging his functions measurably in the past six years and congratulated him for his stewardship in the institution and prayed God to give him good hope in his subsequent and future endeavours.

The acting rector assured all members of the polytechnic community that a new dawn has come and that his administration is not only going to adopt a new and different approach to achieving the objectives for which the institution was established, but is also poised to encourage and promote an all-inclusive governance in tandem with global practices.

Dr. Umobong emphasised that the overall aim of the approach is to relaunch the institution back into the comity of renowned and preferred polyphonics nationally and internationally.

He maintained that the leadership of the institution under his watch shall strive to priorities the welfare and security of all staff and students of the polytechnic, adding that modern and critical infrastructure and resources necessary for effective learning shall be provided through collaboration with the government and relevant organisations within and outside the State.

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Earlier in his opening remarks, the acting chairman of the Governing Council, Akwa Ibom State Polytechnic, Dr. Samuel Edet described the day as a history making day in the institution. He congratulated the acting rector on his appointment and called on everyone to give the same support his predecessor enjoyed while in office.

The Governing Council chairman warned everyone to allow the new rector function in his capacity for the benefit of the institution, saying that if the rector his given a free hand to operate, the polytechnic will grow. He urged the people of the polytechnic to pray for the new rector to succeed, noting that the future of Akwa Ibom children is at stake if the rector fails.

The handing over ceremony was witnessed by Governing Council members, management staff, head of departments, labour leaders as well as students of Akwa Ibom State Polytechnic.

(c) EMMANUEL AKPAN

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Education

Udom Emmanuel : Building The Future Through Education

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Udom Emmanuel : Building The Future Through Education

Udom Emmanuel : Building The Future Through Education

By Uwemedimoh Umanah

It was Victor Hugo, a novelist and philosopher that said that , “he who opens a school door, closes a prison”. A school is where formal learning/ education is inculcated for the overall personality development.

Education is synonymous with development. Some the world’s most ravaging problems were solved through research findings. Research and scientific discoveries orchestrated the Industrial Revolution in England in 18th in the Century. The East -Asian Economic Miracle of the 1960s and the Meiji Restoration in Japan were fueled and reinforced by sound educational policies.

In Japan, for instance, the Meiji regime initiated a free, compulsory and qualitative education for Japanese. They were offered scholarship by the state to study science and technology courses in universities in the West. The Meiji regime made it an offense to deny a Japanese child education.

Interestingly, by the mid 20th century, Japanese graduates were competing favorably with their western counterparts and contemporaries in the area of science and technology. Interestingly it has one of the highest literacy rates in the world.

Udom Emmanuel : Building The Future Through Education

In Akwa Ibom, Governor 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 student in public primary and secondary schools respectively.

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The success of the Free and Compulsory Education depends on the quality of teachers in public schools. Governor Udom Emmanuel regularly approves the training and re- training of teachers to sharpen their skills and teaching capabilities. This program includes those at the Principal and Inspector ranks, for an efficient service- delivery.

Through the Inter -Ministerial Direct Labour Committee, over 364 dilapidated classrooms blocks in state- owned schools have been refurbished/ constructed to create a conducive environment for learning. Also, desks and office accommodation for teachers which were in gory states are being provided and rehabilitated respectively.

Worthy of note is the fact that Akwa Ibom is among the top 5 states with the highest number of public schools in Nigeria, totaling 1,402. Agreeably, it’s no mean feat to efficiently maintain infrastructure in these whopping number of schools. However, the administration of Governor Emmanuel has not reneged on its determination, zeal and commitment to the provision of a better environment for learning, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals.

To encourage more enrollment in universities, the Akwa Ibom State Government invests N600 Million Naira annually as West African Examination fees for indigenes of the state. The Governor sees this huge investment as a worthy gesture capable of growing the Optimum / Productive Population for the state.

My research reveals that Udom Emmanuel belongs to Neo- Liberal Economic persuasion. This School is the main proponent of globalization. Neoliberalism considers infrastructure as being catalytic to globalization.

Perhaps, this ideological thought has led to Governor Emmanuel’s unflinching penchant for quality infrastructure. For instance, the pace and quality of work on internal roads and lecture halls in state- owned tertiary institutions is unprecedented. Both campuses Akwa Ibom State University, Akwa Ibom State State Polytechnic, Ikot Osurua and College of Education, Afaha Nsit wear an impressive look in terms of road network, landscape and many other facilities. Interestingly, these institutions now have full accreditation, courtesy of the Governor’s dogged commitment to education.

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Governor Emmanuel’s partnership with the Federal Government in educational has resulted in the siting and construction of Military Schools in the state. The state government has built and donated schools to the Nigerian Navy for a Naval College in Ikot Ntuen, Oruk Anam and the Nigerian Army in Efa, Etinan Local Government Area.

Udom Emmanuel : Building The Future Through Education

Another Federal Government educational project in the state which has experienced a leap through Mr Emmanuel ‘s strategic touch is the Girls Model Secondary School, Ikot Ekang, Abak from a near -abandoned project.
The Governor’s magic wand turned the facility into one of the most equipped schools in the country with a state -of -the -arts laboratory and library, modern classrooms, residential quarters for teachers, dormitories and teaching aid, dining hall, among others.

There are also qualified teaching staff that have made the school an enviable one. What makes it the more so, is the regular training and Re- training programs/ courses for teachers in state, courtesy of the Governor’s magnanimity and undiluted passion for education.

Critics may understandably question the Governor unwavering interest in intervening in some of federal projects. The Governor sees these project as being of greater benefit to the state, hence opportunities should be maximized for an enhanced capability.

Education is the greatest investment any Government can make for the citizenry and Governor Udom Emmanuel, through an unconventional business strategy, is a top -flier in this regard.

Uwemedimoh Umanah is a Public Affairs Analyst

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