Home EDUCATION Akwa Ibom Education Think-tank completes field survey between 2020 – 2030

Akwa Ibom Education Think-tank completes field survey between 2020 – 2030

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Governor Udom Emmanuel

By Dennis Udoma, Uyo

Following the establishment of Akwa Ibom Think – tank on Education (AKTTE) by the State Government to formulate a veritable education roadmap for the State, the Think-tank has been working round the clock to meet the August 31, 2020 deadline. The members appointed by the Governor have submitted their inputs through reports that are now being analysed and integrated with submissions from State agencies and other organizations.

Units of the Akwa Ibom State Ministry of Education led by the Honourable Commissioner, Professor Nse Essien and the Permanent Secretary, Mrs Helen Ante, have also submitted memoranda to the Think-tank Secretariat.

In fact, activities at the AKTTE Secretariat since April this year has not been easy; as work that is supposed to be carried out in 2 years is compressed into 4 months project. Kudos to the field study and analytical support teams, for their data generation and provisions of rationale for the initiative/intervention project under designed.

The roadmap, which is the fallout of the Education Summit of September 2019, is Governor Udom Emmanuel’s vision to remediate the challenges of the educational system of the State beyond the lifespan of the current administration.

In the meantime, the roadmap will cover a period of 10 years (2020-2030) and as such, predictive tools have been employed to obtain estimates of parameters in addition to pre-sagging future scenarios that will require support by an appropriate educational system. Much consultations of stakeholders had been performed to ensure that the roadmap will receive wide acceptance.

As explained by the Think-tank Chairman, Professor Inyang, ‘‘the Akwa Ibom Strategic Education Roadmap (AKSER 2020-2030) must be responsive to today’s educational and socio-economic development challenges of the State, while charting the course for the State to satisfy Sustainable Development Goals SDG’s item No. 4 on education, African Continental Education Target, Nigeria Education Objectives and the aspirations of Akwa Ibom people toward roles in the 4th Industrial Revolution (4-IR), and the general improvement in the quality of life’’.

According to him, the Think-tank’s contributions are framed in the AKSER document under some guiding principles to include;

  1. Setting initiatives within the overall vision of Governor Udom Emmanuel, whose commitment is to improve the standard of education in the State in both the short and long terms.

This was evidenced by his support for the September 2019 Akwa Ibom State Education Summit, where he promised to setup a Think-tank of international experts to further analyse and act on the challenges that were identified at that Summit. Essentially, this means the development of solutions to remediate problems in the State’s educational system at all levels.

  1. From his location in Ethiopia as U.S. Ambassador’s Distinguished Scholar, Professor Hilary Inyang was appointed to chair the 17-man Think-tank. The body has liaised with the Ministry of Education, public agencies, private organisations and individual stakeholders within the State to develop the roadmap which is unprecedented in any State of the Federation.
  2. Based on this, the Think-tank went to work by first meeting with education stakeholders in the state including; the principals of schools, Zonal Directors, education agencies to inform and solicit their contributions for the initiative.

The Think-tank Secretariat had published solicitations for memoranda from the stakeholders for contributions and data, while at the same time carrying out field studies, analyses contents and predictive outcomes amongst others.

The Think-tank worked through the constraints of COVID-19 period by holding virtual meetings/conferences and has concluded the field studies. Currently, it is analysing all the socio-economic data, making all computations and graphs necessary to provide clarity to its upcoming recommendations.

Some of the key intervention programmes that the Think-tank is working out details for are as follows;

  1. Physical Infrastructure Improvement Programme for Akwa Ibom Educational Institutions.
  2. Equipment/Furnishings, Enhancement Programme for Akwa Ibom Educational Institutions.
  3. Educational Programmes and Processes Improvement Systems for Akwa Ibom Institutions.
  4. Akwa Ibom Strategic Research and Innovation Support Programme.
  5. Akwa Ibom Educational Materials Provision Programme for Public Libraries and Academic Institutions.
  6. Akwa Ibom Teacher Recruitment and Teaching Skills Enhancement Programme.
  7. Akwa Ibom Fourth Industrial Revolution (4-IR) Skills Transition Support Programme.
  8. Akwa Ibom Mortality and Ethics Support and Enforcement Programme for Academic Institutions.
  9. Akwa Ibom Community Life-long Learning Programme.
  10. Akwa Ibom Talent Identification. Scholarship and Internship Support Programme.
  11. Akwa Ibom Coverage Programme for Students Living with Disabilities.
  12. Akwa Ibom Textbook Authorship and Production Incentives Grant Programme.
  13.  Akwa Ibom Exemplary Intellectual Honours Programme.
  14. Akwa Ibom Education Endowment Fund.
  15. One-Farm-One-Factory Entrepreneurship Promotion Programme for Akwa Ibom Primary and Secondary Schools.
  16. Akwa Ibom Diaspora Engagement in Education Programme.

The Think-tank Chairman said, whatever is constructed within the above intervention programmes will be primarily consistent with the vision of His Excellency, Governor Udom Emmanuel and his government as regards the use of education as the foundation for the socio-economic development of the State. By extension, the programme will also have multi-utility of serving the State as regards satisfaction of global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2030, African Continental Education Strategy and Nigerian national Education Initiative.

He added that, work was ongoing to integrate information from all sources, with the hope that the roadmap will serve as the primary reference document for educational planning for the State for many years to come.

Professor Inyang argued that, there is nowhere in the world where government alone can adequately finance education noting that, his experience in many countries has shown that, the private sector has to play  a significant role to promote education at all levels.

He added that, since the desirable circumstance has not yet been reached in Akwa Ibom or any other State in Nigeria, the Think-tank is working on possible modalities for the establishment of an Akwa Ibom State education endowment fund to augment government’s regular budget support for education.

Also, the Think-tank is on the path to recommend that, schools at all levels in the State should embark on entrepreneurship as well as One-School – One Farm – One – Factory Initiative to improve on their Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).

Professor Inyang also noted that, some public universities in Nigeria like the University of Ilorin, Kwara State; Federal University of Technology, Owerri; Federal University of Technology (FUTA), Akure in Ondo State and the University of Lagos are now diversifying their revenue sources through entrepreneurship.

In view of the above, Governor Emmanuel is assiduously working to use quality education system to mainstream all his visions, aspirations and economic/human resource development of the people of the State.

Akwa Ibom being part of the global community, Professor Inyang maintained is striving to eradicate illiteracy in the state by 2030, in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) No. 4, with a desire to produce first-class experts, professionals in many fields of human endeavour, inventors, innovators and change makers for the State.

The reason Governor Emmanuel set up the Akwa Ibom Strategic Think-Tank on Education, which is doing well studying, evaluating and making inputs that will completely overhaul our educational system in the State through the roadmap.

Professor Inyang, who accepted this role as the Think-tank Chairman in spite of his current job responsibilities outside Nigeria, applauded Governor Emmanuel’s vision, role and support of education during his term of office.

He stated that the results which will be partly seen initially, will definitely put Akwa Ibom State in vantage positions in many economic sectors several decades in the future. Such were the cases in Mauritius, Botswana and Western Nigeria as (catalysed by Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s educational initiatives).

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