By Ayo Ajayi
Both the new and the re-elected governors in Nigeria have been making promises about the development of the education sector in their respective states. Some even took instant decision while addressing the multitudes at their inaugural.
EDUTORIAL brings you, what some of the governors promised to do about education in their states in the next four years.
I Promised To Donate My Entire Salary As Governor To The Teacher’s Pension Fund – Seyi Makinde (Oyo State)
We spoke with parents of children in public secondary schools who out of their meagre resources still have to scrounge N3, 000 per child so that their children can get an education and increase their opportunities. Our region that housed the first university in Nigeria now has a state with the seventh highest number of out-of-school children. Over 400,000 children in Oyo State are out of school.
Effective immediately, the school fees of N3, 000 in state-owned secondary schools is hereby abolished. We want enrolments to go up; we want our children off the streets and in the classrooms. We are throwing the school doors wide open. Whoever opens a school door opens an opportunity. We are opening opportunities for a brighter future.
We also know that education standards in Oyo State are poor. Oyo State recently ranked twenty-sixth in Nigeria in WAEC performance. While we invite the students to come in, we will focus on raising the standard of education in Oyo State. We will work on providing needed infrastructure and manpower by increasing Oyo State’s education budget to 10 per cent of our total annual budget, increasing yearly until we match UNESCO’s recommendation of 15-20 per cent. We will be a pacesetter state in education.
We know that quality education is not possible without quality teachers. Quality emoluments and benefits attract quality teachers. We are not ignorant of the plight of our dear teachers. We know the state of the teacher’s pension scheme. During my campaigns, I promised to donate my entire salary as governor to the Teacher’s Pension Fund. I stand by that promise.
We will seek practical ways to reposition the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso. You are aware that the university is jointly owned by Osun and Oyo State. We will reach out to our sister state and share ideas on how to move the institution forward. Our priority is a total takeover.
We Are Supplying School Furniture To End The Inherited Embarrassment Of Pupils Sitting On Bare Floors – Nasir El-Rufai (Kaduna State)
We pledge to continue the vigorous implementation of our governance agenda of Putting People First. During our first term, we signalled and then demonstrated that we stand firmly with ordinary people. We put the needs of ordinary people at the centre of governance. In education and health, we have shown a commitment with investments to expand the access of ordinary people to these public goods.
We began to reverse the legacy of neglect we inherited in education, starting the onerous task of upgrading the over 4200 public primary schools in the state. We are supplying school furniture to end the inherited embarrassment of pupils sitting on bare floors.
Aside from fixing the learning environment, we took bold steps to improve teaching standards. We made basic education truly free and have made education free and compulsory for girls up to the end of senior secondary school. We will continue to fix existing schools and build new classrooms where necessary, and support our teachers to deliver decent public education.
This Government Will Empower Teachers In Every Local Government- Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos State)
We will invest in the education of our children and young adults. By increasing the budgetary allocation to education, this government will empower teachers in every local government and strengthen their capacity to deliver quality education to our children. New educational infrastructure will cultivate a learning environment that prepares our children for a new world that demands creativity, intuition and critical thinking. We will ensure technology is integrated into our school curriculum and empower our youths with the much-needed skills for the jobs of tomorrow.
We Will Access All Available Intervention Funds Nationally And Internationally To Transform Educational Sector In Abia – Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia State)
Our people are our pride and strength and building them will continually be a major thrust of my administration. Everyone especially the youth can benefit from qualitative formal and informal education that develops knowledge, skills and competencies. We will access all available intervention funds nationally and internationally to transform the educational sector in Abia, upgrade existing and create new technical training programmes ranging from basic artisan to advanced ICT skills and provide our young with employable capabilities thus empowering them to uplift their standard of living through self-sufficiency. In my first 100 days in office, the Boys Technical college in Aba will receive significant attention aimed at enabling it provides certificate programmes in carefully chosen vocational areas including garment and shoemaking. In the long term, there will be significant private sector involvement in BTC.
We Have Been Able To Establish Borno’s First State University Since Our State Was Created – Babagana Umara (Borno State)
The insurgents took many steps to take us backwards. As we rebuilt communities, they destroyed them. As we upgraded schools, the insurgents destroyed them.
They destroyed hospitals after we had equipped and commissioned them. For every step we took, the insurgents took us back by two or more steps.
In addition to rebuilding communities, schools and hospitals, we were also faced with a severe humanitarian crisis which arose from a massive displacement of people.
We constructed 1,711 classrooms and other school buildings in 256 primary and junior secondary schools. We established 16 new secondary schools, renovated more than half of our over 80 secondary schools and built 44 Mega primary schools of world-class infrastructure.
These schools are to cater for more than 50,000 orphans whose parents were killed by Boko Haram. We deliberately located half of the schools in Maiduguri so that a sitting Governor can personally ensure the welfare of these orphans, many of whom have neither mothers nor relatives. Majority of them have no one at all.
Together, we have been able to establish Borno’s first state university since our state was created in 1976.
We Will Revamp Our Education To Produce The Best Minds That Will, In Turn, Make Kwara Second To None – Abdulrahman Abdulrasaq (Kwara State)
This is not the time to reel out a litany of what programmes and policies will be pursued by our Administration just to please the ears. What we stand for is to empower our people. Make society and life better. Strengthen family values. Improve efficiency and service delivery in our public services. Revamp our education to produce the best minds that will, in turn, make Kwara second to none. Promote industry, agriculture, technology and social services and open up new vistas of opportunities that will promote the common good.
We Shall Establish Centers Of Excellence In Our Educational Institutions That Will Be Driven By ICT – Dapo Abiodun (Ogun State)
The state of Education in the State is worrisome. We have been regaled with stories of unpaid salaries, poor funding, unremitted deductions, moribund projects, controversial campus relocations, hasty appointments, strikes etc. Confidence has been eroded, unless we act quickly, education which is already in serious trouble will get worse. We cannot afford to have our education, which should be the bedrock of all our development activities, our topmost industry- be in such a state.
Today, this State has the largest number of public and private universities, and we are what Boston is to the United States of America.
However, this legacy is being gradually eroded with the declining standards of the education system in the state and uninspiring performances of the products in national and internationally moderated examinations. Restoring the glory of Ogun State education system requires an urgent, comprehensive and disruptive approach akin to the declaration of a State of Emergency.
Consequently, we will convene an Education Stakeholders Summit that will bring all experts and relevant stakeholders to discuss and proffer solutions to the deplorable state of education in the State from Early Child Education (ECE), to primary, secondary, tertiary as well as technical and vocational training schools. Visitation panels will be set up to select tertiary institutions for fact-finding missions and to proffer practical solutions to the lingering problems experienced in many of these institutions. We shall establish Centers of Excellence in our educational institutions that will be driven by our ICT initiatives, which will contribute significantly to research, learning and innovation through review of curriculum, provision of broadband connectivity and strategic alliances with other local and foreign institutions of repute. We shall ensure that our schools are conducive for learning through the provision of adequate infrastructure and facilities. We will embark on a massive capacity building programme for our teachers to enable them to upgrade their skills and qualifications in order to prepare them adequately for their unique role of imparting knowledge and finally, we shall put in place a monitoring and performance management systems to ensure that all these interventions bear good results.
We Will Continue To Equip Our Public Schools And Ensure Our Children Have Access To Quality Learning Experience – Nyesom Wike (Rivers State)
We’ve got good news for all our youths this time around as we will dedicate much of the next four years to Youth Development by tackling the challenges that continue to keep you behind. As a starting point, we’ve resolved to give our youths some significant positions in our government and provide viable economic opportunities to spark hopes of a better future in their eyes.
Let me also assure you that those who need education will get quality one; those who want life-skills will be trained; those who want to do business will continue to get our interest free loans; and those who have sporting talents will have quality sporting facilities and encouragement from us; and for those interested in making a career out of football, we have provided the Real Madrid Academy to prepare you for life-transforming professional footballing careers at home and abroad”.
I wish to assure us that we are determined to change this narrative for the better. We will continue to equip our public schools and ensure our children have access to the quality learning experience; empower our teachers with modern teaching skills to deliver better outcomes in the classrooms, and advance our universities to equip and prepare our graduates to be competitive and strive for creativity, self-reliance and service.
We Shall Pay Special Attention To Science, Technical And Vocational Education – Emeka Ihedioha (Imo State)
On Education, I wish to announce that we shall ensure the provision of qualitative education in Imo State by taking appropriate measures for quality control. We shall review the present, so-called, “free education” to ensure that Ndi – Imo gets the best.
In our strong belief that development of a well-trained and motivated middle-level manpower is critical for supporting our industries and for self-employment of our teeming youths, we shall pay special attention to Science, Technical and Vocational Education in line with our commitment to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
In this context, the four Technical Colleges in Imo State: in Owerri, Ahiara, Orlu and Okigwe will be re-furbished, re-equipped and provided with well-trained teachers within the first 180 days of this administration. Our ambition is that our artisans and craftsmen should be the best Nigeria can offer.
To support our educational objectives, we shall send a Bill immediately the 9th State House of Assembly convenes, to set up an Education Trust Fund. The Fund will mobilize the resources necessary to support the qualitative education and other educational initiatives in the State.
We Have Commenced The Process Of Overhauling The Curriculum In State-Owned Tertiary Institutions – Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta State)
We have made good our word to unlock – and unleash – youth entrepreneurship through technical/vocational education. Within one week of my assumption of office in 2015, I presented an Executive Bill for the establishment of a Technical and Vocational Education Board to drive our policy emphasis on skills acquisition. The results are gratifying.
As a result of the work of the Board in conjunction with the supervising Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education, the six technical colleges in Agbor, Sapele, Ofagbe, Utagba-Ogbe, Ogor and Issele-Uku have been fully rehabilitated, well equipped and fully functional. Consequently, Delta is the first State in the country to have all of the courses offered by its technical colleges accredited by the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE). Furthermore, the National Business and Technical Education Board (NABTEB) has commenced the issuance of the modular certificate and NABTEB certificates to the graduates of these schools while Trade Test Certificate for practical proficiency is issued by the Ministry of Labour and Productivity. This is to ensure a unified standard of certification for the graduate trainees.
With improved linkages and partnerships, all Six Technical Colleges now enjoy a World Bank/SEEFOR funding support. They run vocational programmes thus positioning them as Vocational Enterprise Institutes (VEIs) and for the National Vocational Qualification Framework (NVQF). For the full and effective utilisation of personnel, equipment and instructional facilities, Junior Secondary education (JS 1-3) has been incorporated into the technical colleges. Let me also hasten to add that the vocational education centres in Asaba, Sapele, Ozoro, Agbarho, Bulu-Angiama and Otor-Owhe, Mbiri, Ubulu-uku and Orerokpe are enjoying a new lease of life.
As many of you present here will testify, we devoted substantial resources, time and energy to build a knowledge-based economy and a critical mass of skills for entrepreneurship and business competitiveness. Over 20,000 persons benefited from our flagship Skills Training and Entrepreneurship Programme (STEP), Youth Agricultural Entrepreneurs Programme (YAGEP) and similar programmes undertaken by the Ministries of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Commerce and Industry, Women Affairs as well as the Delta State Micro Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency.
In the same vein, we have commenced the process of overhauling the curriculum in state-owned tertiary institutions to include courses in personal development and problem-solving. This has been achieved in some of our polytechnics. During the course of my first tenure, the Delta State University received full accreditation for the Faculties of Law and Engineering at Oleh Campus as well as other departments at the Abraka Campus. This was no mean feat as it required the Government to invest heavily in personnel, facilities and physical infrastructure to merit the accreditations.
Less than two weeks ago, I gave approval for the take-off of the Faculty of Environmental Sciences at the Asaba Campus of the University. This was the only faculty not available in the University in its 26-year history. It will be offering degree programmes in Architecture, Building Technology and Quantity Surveying.