By Dennis Udoma Uyo
The Chairman of Akwa Ibom Think-tank on Education (AKTTE), Prof. Hilary Inyang has asked traditional rulers’ to partner with the group for effective implementation of the State’s Strategic Education Roadmap (AKSER) 2020-2030.
He made the appeal at the weekend, while engaging the Traditional Rulers Council (TRC) at the Ministry of Local Government/Chieftaincy Affairs in Uyo, on the activities of the think-tank saying, the meeting was to enable them know the situation the educational sector was facing and their inputs that could lead to the development of a veritable roadmap to meet the educational needs of the state.
Prof. Inyang, who is also the US Distinguished Scholar to Ethiopia explained that, the think-tank was established by the State Government to build on the fallout of September 2019 Education Summit to address the dearth of infrastructure, equipment furnishing and programmes/processes in order to reposition the sector and promote entrepreneurship in public schools in Akwa Ibom.
He said, the education sector which was ignored for too resulted in the deplorable state of infrastructure and facility, non-equipment, lack of teachers, deficiency in programmes and processes, and pointed out that, since it was impossible for government to provide immediate solution to these challenges, a 10-year rescue programme was being worked out by Governor Udom Emmanuel through the think-tank for effective and efficient academic delivery.
Prof. Inyang informed the royal fathers drawn from the 31 LGA’S in the state that, if the five development agenda of job creation, infrastructural development, industrialization, poverty alleviation and political inclusion being vigorously pursued by the present government should workout, there must be improvement on educational infrastructure, equipment, programmes, processes and manpower.
From the beginning, he said, traditional institution was the custodian of Akwa Ibom education heritage, and urged them to cooperate with the government and schools management in preventing encroachment into school facilities by the people to hamper on the physical infrastructure, as well as theft and vandalization of school equipment.
Inyang stressed the need for Paramount rulers, clan and village heads to participate in local forum on education with regards to school performance and challenges. He told the gathering that it was important for them to collaborate with local churches, schools and non-governmental organizations to identify truants and harassers of students for actions by counsellors and security agencies.
The think tank chairman admonished them on their responsibility of carrying out enlightenments of their subjects at the grassroots to encourage enrolment in the proposed life- long learning programme intended to take place after school hours in primary/secondary schools at their domain, as well as the identification and referral of pupils and students living with disabilities in their localities to education authorities for programme coverage.
The chairman, Akwa Ibom State Council of Chiefs, HRM. Ntenyin Solomon Etuk in his response on behalf of the traditional rulers applauded the think tank for going round the state to see things as they affect the education system, and commended Governor Emmanuel’s vision to reposition the education sector for the well-being of the people.
He acknowledged the contribution of Professor Inyang stressing that, such feat has enable government to identify and develop a strategic roadmap to revamp the educational system of the state.
‘‘Having listened to the presentation backed up with facts, the traditional institution will do everything possible to facilitate the implementation of the roadmap in the state’’, Etuk explained and appealed to the think tank to provide the TRC with details of the roadmap so that, they could study and make inputs before presentation of the document to the State government.
Oku Ibom stated that, as an institution, the TRC was interested in the life-long learning programme intended for the rural population for their enlightenment which will go a long to rejuvenate the hitherto adult education programme to make governance easy at the grassroots.