AKHA COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION VISITS MINISTRY, ETOI SECONDARY SCHOOL
By Ememobong Okon
The Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly Committee on Education led by its Chairman, Hon. Godwin Ekpo, Monday, paid an oversight visit to the Ministry of Education and Etoi Secondary School in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital , to appraise the level of implementation of educational policies and Programmes of the Ministry.
Welcoming the Committee to the Ministry, Commissioner for Education Prof. Nse Essien, describing the Ministry as the clearing house for every other agencies in the Ministry, said the Ministry was established with the vision to raise the literary rate of the people through sustenance of free and compulsory education project and to meet the philosophy of Education in Nigeria as enshrined in the National policy of Education and the sustainable Development Goals.
Filing answers to questions raised by members of the Committee on the challenges facing the education sector in the State, the Commissioner hinted that, to curb the operation of illegal schools, a new strategy, which is to investigate and prosecute operators of illegal Schools found guilty in the State has been adopted.
Hear him: “we have adopted a new strategy, which is to start immediate prosecution when found guilty. There’s a prison term or find for operators of illegal schools.”
He added that the Ministry has also forbidden Government approved schools from accepting and registering pupils/ students for common entrance examinations, Jss3, WAEC and NECO examinations from illegal private schools. With the latest development, the Commissioner asserts that the issue of illegal schools in the State shall soon become a thing of the past.
….. Why there is lack of furniture in Government public schools
On the recurrent lack of furnitures in Schools, Prof. Essien, calling on traditional rulers to be involved in safeguarding School properties in their communities, said that the recurrent lack of furnitures in schools is due to vandalism.
“one of the challenges in the recurrent lack of furnitures in Schools is vandalization.
“The damages to Government properties are awful, all I could say is that all must be involve in safeguarding schools properties.
“The school you have belong to your community and it is the responsibility of the people in the community to take good care of the furnitures.
“I’m also planning a meeting with the traditional rulers council to assist us take ownership of schools within their domain, they should also show interest in terms of teachers attitude to work. ” he said.
….. On Ewet Technical College Rampage
The Commissioner hinted that the indefinite closure of Ewet Technical College is to return sanity as well ensure that the cause of recurrent social vices in the college is assessed, adding that so far 34 Students have been suspended indefinitely.
“I strongly believe that we will be able to return everything back to what it suppose to be. ” he said.
…… At Etoi Secondary School
At Etoi Secondary School, the Committee Chairman
while addressing the Principal, teaching/non-teaching staffs and students of the school noted that the Committee is empowered by the Standing Orders of the House to oversee the operations of the Ministry, related agencies, boards and parastatals.
He also mandated the Commissioner to ensure that perimeter fencing is carried out for the School before the end of next quarter in the year.
The Chairman of the Committee however lauded the State Government for strengthening the free and compulsory education policy in the State, a feat he said has culminated in the daily influx of students and pupils in the State public schools.
The Ibiono Ibom Lawmaker also commended the Principal, teachers, non academic staff and entire management of Secondary School Etoi for bracing up to the task of controlling the population of almost 7,000 students in the school.
To the students, the Assemblyman urged them to shun cultism, avert cutting corners, and remain studious in order to achieve academic excellence for a better future.
Earlier on, the Principal of the School, Dr. Offiong Okon while receiving the Committee and other team members into the school, disclosed that the school is a co-educational institution with a total number of 169 academic and non academic staff including corp members and N- Power beneficiaries staff with a population of approximately 7,000 Students.
Dr. Okon intimated the team that the school draws its students from the 27 villages that make up Etoi Clan and also from the two neighbouring local Government Areas of Uruan and Ibesikpo Asutan.
He itemized major challenges facing the daily operations of the school to include; lack of perimeter fence, inadequate classroom blocks, inauguration of the modular buildings, lack of electricity, no water supply, toilet, and the need for equipping of its science laboratory.
The principal used the opportunity and called on members of the committee to use their good offices to ensure needed facilities are supplied to the school for effective running, adding that an improved educational packaged when hands over to students shall not only improve humanity but will add value to the society.