Supervising Minister of Education, Chief (Barr.) Ezenwo Nyesom Wike, has inaugurated the National Project Steering Committee (NPSC) on State Education Programme Investment Project ( SEPIP) as part of effort to tackle some of the fundamental challenges confronting the basic and secondary education system in the country.
Inaugurating the committee in his office on Thursday, 19th December 2013, Wike said that the project, which is planned to run for four years, is intended to address teacher deployment and availability in the rural areas, as well as teacher availability in the core subject areas such as English Language, Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Integrated Science in Junior Secondary Schools.
The Minister, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Dr. MacJohn Nwaobiala, listed other areas of the project to include assessing students achievements in primary and secondary education; stimulate partnerships and accreditation of programmes in technical and vocational schools, and to strengthen School-Based Management Committees’ participation and capacity for improving effectiveness, management and accountability in schools.
He said that the project is very critical to tackling some of the obvious challenges, noting that the dearth of teachers, for instance, in rural schools is a major challenge that collective effort is need to overcome.
While observing that the challenges are quite familiar, the Minister, however, said, “We are now saddled with the specific responsibility of steering the implementation of this important project to a logical conclusion.” He stressed that there is the need to ensure that the goals of the project are successfully realized through sound policy guidance, social mobilization, monitoring and effective oversight.
The Minister said that SEPIP is a result-based project presently being implemented in three states, namely: Anambra, Bauchi and Ekiti States. The role of the committee, he said, is essentially to work with the states to realise the set targets as captured in the Disbursement- Linked Indicators (DLIs) with a view to improve the quality of education in the states.
“I wish to congratulate the Governors of the three participating states for keying into this project. I have no doubt that, if this project is successfully implemented, the basic and secondary education system in these states will never be the same again. Therefore, let me use this opportunity to call on other states to participate in the project to improve the quality of basic and secondary education in their states,” he said.
The Director of Basic and Secondary Education Department, Barrister Chike Uwaezuoke, while expressing appreciation to participating states and other stakeholders, said that the task of achieving the Disbursement-Linked Indicators calls for the concerted effort of all partners and stakeholders, especially in the States where the project is being implemented.