AKHA Reads Riot Act To Illegal Tertiary Institutions In A' Ibom

The Akwa Ibom House of Assembly (AKHA) has di rected the State Ministry of Education to alert the legislative arm of government with the list of approved and unapproved tertiary institutions in the state.  The charge was handed down when the House Committee on Education interacted with stakeholders from the education sector in compliance with the directive of the Assembly in a motion brought before the House by the member for Nsit Atai State Constituency, Elder Mark Esset, on
the "proliferation of illegal tertiary institutions in Akwa Ibom State and for other connected purposes.  The chairman of the committee and the member for Ibiono Ibom State Constituency, Mr Godwin Ekpo, stated that they were empowered by the standing order of the House to conduct an oversight function on the education sector, adding that they had frowned at the proliferation of illegal higher schools spread across the state.  "The rate at which these institutions are churning out diplomas and certificates is very alarming and must be checked, Ekpo stated.  The committee pledged a joint effort with the Ministry of Education in ensuring that sanity returns to the sector.  The leader of the House and member for Oruk Anam State Constituency, Sir Udo Kierian Akpan, urged the ministry to double its effort in weeding out the unpleasant development in the sector. Akpan who is also the vice chairman of the committee, noted that there was no point operating a school that deceives the children and toying with their future.  Other members of the committee present also called for stiffer sanctions on defaulters in restoring confidence in the sector.  The commissioner for education, Prof Nse Essien who appeared on the invitation of the committee reads out the basic requirements for establishing tertiary institutions in the state to include collection of application forms which must be completed in duplicate and submitted to the Directorate of Secondary and Higher Education, Ministry of Education, Uyo, at least six months before the day on which the proposed school was to commence, saying that the completed form will then be forwarded to the honourable commissioner for education for necessary approval formalities.   Other requirements include submission of photocopy of receipt of payments for the application form, a survey plan indicating the size of the plot of land on which the school will be cited, a site plan showing the location of the school building, the rooms and other facilities, a detailed three year building plan indicating which building will be constructed in each year and the estimated cost of each building.  Others are evidence of funds available for both capital and recurrent expenditure, two passport photograph of the proprietor, curriculum vitae of the proprietor and the registrar, certificate of registration of school name from Corporate Affairs Commission and photocopy of executed land agreements.  Essien noted the proposed school must not be operated on a rented apartment, saying that application forms not return elapsed after a period of six months.  He maintained that there was also an intensive review and analysis of documents by experts from the ministry for inspection of site and facilities as well as issuance of letter of no objection if the school meets the basic requirements as stipulated in the guidelines.  The commissioner, however, stressed that the Ministry of Education does not give approval for the operation of tertiary institutions, but that the letter of No objection issued by the ministry was one of the requirements from the government regulatory bodies to include National Universities Commission (NUC), National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) and National Commission for College of Education (NCCE).  The committee chairman assured that efforts are being intensified in ensuring the rectification of the anomalies.

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