GOV EMMANUEL LAUDS AKWA IBOM PUBLIC SCHOOLS STUDENTS FOR WINNING NAT’L COMPETITION
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
CHECK YOUR WASSCE RESULTS, DISREGARD RUMOUR PEDDLERS
CHECK YOUR WASSCE RESULTS, DISREGARD RUMOUR PEDDLERS- A’IBOM GOV’S AIDE
All candidates who sat for the just concluded 2018 West African Senior School Certificate Examinations (WASSCE) in the state have been urged to check their results at the respective available channels and pay deaf ears to idle gossips by sponsored media hirelings who are all out to mislead the public.
The Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Education Monitoring, Mrs Idongesit Etiebet who confirmed this to our reporter in her office dismissed the widespread rumours making the rounds in some quarters that result of candidate of Akwa Ibom State who wrote the recent WASSCE would not be released due to the State’s outstanding debt to West African Examinations Council.
Mrs Etiebet who corroborated an earlier statement by the Commissioner for Education, Prof. Victor Inoka and that of Information and Strategy, Mr Charles Udoh, called on the general public to ignore such rumours as all Governor Emmanuel, being a responsive and responsible leader had fulfilled his part of obligation to the examinations council.
Maintaining that Mr Emmanuel considers all funds expended on education as major investments, she charged all detractors to join hands with the Governor in building a better Akwa Ibom State.
The SSA on Education monitoring also disclosed that civil servants in Akwa Ibom state have been paid June 2018 salaries, even when federal government Allocation -FAAC has not been released to States by the federal government.
She applauded the commitment of Governor Emmanuel in the payment of staff’s remuneration, pensions and gratuities.
Mrs Etiebet used the opportunity to intimate the general public that Governor Emmanuel’s Administration since 2015, has spent over 3billion naira in the payment of termly examination’s fees, placement examination(Common Entrance) fees, Basic Education Certicate fees, WASCE fees, NABTEB fees, etc., for all government owned primary and secondary Schools across the State.
She also commended the State government for the massive construction/rehabilitation of School blocks and other infrastructural developments recorded in other sectors.
Recall that last two weeks, the State Government under the able leadership of Governor Emmanuel had released almost 200million naira subvention, to various heads of public primary and secondary Schools in the State to take care of logistics and other expenses in running the school, to avoid hidden charges on pupils and students in public schools.
AKWA IBOM STATE NOT OWING WAEC FEES – GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL
AKWA IBOM NOT OWING WAEC FEES – GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL
Akwa Ibom State Government has dismissed reports in the media that payment due the West African Examination Council for indigenous candidates who sat for the May/June 2018 examinations has not been made.
Speaking on the matter, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Charles Udoh, explained that “the practice over the years has been that a down-payment of 40% of estimated total cost of WAEC fees is made before the commencement of the annual examination. The balance, according to him, “is usually paid after a reconciliation position is forwarded to the government by the body on conclusion of the examination.”
With the conclusion of the examination and a reconciliation position forwarded to the government, the commissioner said the balance payment had been remitted to WAEC. He therefore wondered why reports in the media tend to portray the state government in bad light over the matter.
He emphasised that “the administration of Governor Udom Emmanuel is committed to ensuring the success of the free and compulsory education programme in the state.”
This he said is underscored by the annual payment of WAEC fees for all candidates of Akwa Ibom State origin in public schools; massive construction and rehabilitation of school blocks and other facilities; regular payment of teachers’ salaries and entitlements; and release of subventions to heads of public secondary and primary schools, among other initiatives to strengthen the education sector.
Consequently, Mr. Udoh advised candidates who took the May/June 2018 WAEC and their parents not to be apprehensive, as he was sure the examination body will waste no time releasing the results since the balance payment had been made.
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