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Educational Development: Consolidating on the gains of the first Four Years 

By Simeon Nwakaudu
Since May 2015, Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike of Rivers State has made educational  development,  a strategic goal of his administration . As such,  the Governor invested massively in all the sub-sectors of Education.
The ultimate goal of Governor Wike has been to build a knowledge based economy,  where the people are empowered with the requisite skills.
From the basic through  to senior secondary to tertiary education,  Governor Wike has improved facilities to enhance teaching and learning.
As a leader who is committed  to the less privileged of the state, Governor Wike has continued to invest in the development of infrastructure in the Basic Education sub-sector.
In all the 23 Local Government Areas of Rivers State, Governor Wike  has reconstructed, furnished and equipped  key primary and basic secondary schools.
At the last count, the Wike Administration has reconstructed 253 Basic Schools in the state. Majority of these schools  are targeted at the rural and riverine communities.
Governor Wike said that his commitment to develop these facilities will be sustained all through his second term. In the last three months of his second term,  Governor Wike has started work on several other basic education schools.
Furnishing for the last set of schools that have been reconstructed by the Wike Administration has reached advanced stage. The State Government through the State Universal Basic Education Board has advertised more schools for reconstruction.
Governor Wike explained  that the State Government embarked on the reconstruction and furnishing of rural schools to encourage parents to send their children  to school.

 

He said: “In the last four years, we have reconstructed and furnished 253 Basic Schools in the state.  These schools are located mainly in the rural and oceanic areas.

 

“We reconstructed and furnished these schools to give our children  access  to quality education”.

The issue of access to quality education is key in Governor Wike’s Education Agenda. To drive home his goal, the Governor abolished  all forms of fees in public schools across the state.

There are 1315 Basic Education Schools in Rivers State and the State Government is working  hard to transform the schools through  phased interventions.

 

“Our state has completed and accessed  all our grants from the Universal Basic Education Commission.  We are up to date in the funding of basic education programmes.  Part of the problem of Universal Basic Education is the inability of states to access matching grants.  We have accessed these matching grants and we are using same to develop the basic  education sector “, Governor Wike said.

 

He explained that his administration abolished every form of fees in primary, junior and secondary schools to encourage parents to educate  their children.

 

“I have abolished every  form of payment in primary, junior and senior Secondary Schools because  many parents are poor and they cannot afford these payments.

 

“We have taken the burden away from them so that poor parents can conveniently send their children to school “, he said.

Beyond creating access to quality education,  the Wike Administration has established a framework  to employ 10, 000 teachers for  primary and secondary schools.  The process of recruitment is ongoing.

 

For the teachers already working for the Rivers State Government,  the administration has embarked on series of capacity building programmes to sharpen their skills.

 

 

“Basic Education is key to the development of the state. SUBEB is awarding contracts for the furnishing of schools slated for 2018. After that of 2018, we will award 2019 contracts for the furnishing of schools.

 

“We are expecting  more enrolments in schools, with the investments  and progress that we have made”, he said.

 

To consolidate on the gains of the investments of the State Government in the area of Basic and Senior Secondary Education,  the Wike Administration has deepened partnership with national and international educational organizations.  The partnership  with the Universal Basic Education Commission and the World Bank Better Education Service Delivery for   all  has been  rewarding.

AmarSim Associations Development Consultants

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