By: PATRICK TITUS, Uyo
The Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Education, Prof. Nse Essien has announced plans by the state government to introduce a School Based Management Committee into the academic system as a means to address some of the challenges faced by schools.
Prof. Essien who disclosed this when he embarked on a resumption monitoring exercise as primary and post-primary schools resumed on Monday, September 16, for the current – 2019/2020 academic year across the state, said the system will bring in community member to co-own the school and contribute to its management.
According Prof. Essien, “It will go a long way to solve some of the challenges faced by schools” and enjoined principals to work out modalities to get that running in their schools while adding that Membership will consist of educated people who are willing to make a contribution.
Addressing newsmen on outcome of the monitoring exercise, the Education Boss said that in some of the schools visited, only a handful of teachers had resumed while the population of students on ground was a far cry from what was expected, describing it as worrisome.
He challenged the school heads to put in place innovative methods and measures to ensure students resume in earnest and full academic activities commence, while urging parents to cooperate by releasing their wards.
Prof. Essen decried loitering of some of the students on the first day of resumption and tasked principals and head teachers to curb such in the best interest of the school and also. He urged them to be proactive in the best interest of the school
The exercise also accorded the Commissioner and his team an opportunity to carry out an on the spot assessment of the school environment and existing facilities. The Education Boss bemoaned the defacing of school walls and breaks down of some facilities and stressed the need for proper maintenance culture.
He also advised school heads to make judicious use of their subventions to fix and maintain damaged facilities to avoid total decay.
The Commissioner accompanied by the Permanent Secretary, Mrs. Helen Ante and other management staff of the ministry visited schools in Okobo and Oron Local Government Areas.
In her reaction, The Permanent Secretary, Mrs. Helen Ante stressed that government was committed to ensuring that all Akwa Ibom children had access to qualitative education and charged parents not to act as stumbling blocks to government efforts by withholding their wards.
Mrs. Ante enjoined N-Power staff to be more committed to their assigned task and not treat with levity the responsibility they graciously accepted. She demanded a monthly report of their performances from school heads to ensure effective monitoring.
Some of the schools visited included Comprehensive Secondary School (CSS Okobo), St. Andrews RCM School, Oti-Oro, St. Vincent Secondary School, Oti-Oro, Methodist Senior Science College, Oron, Mary Hanney Secondary School, Oron