Gov Emmanuel Makes Case For Restructuring Of Educational System
Gov Udom Emmanuel has called on relevant authorities in the nation's education sector to consider restructuring the current education system to meet current realities in view of its overall importance in defining the future of children and national economy.
The governor made this known while addressing participants at the concluding session of the First Akwa Ibom Education Summit and Exhibitions at the Mboho Mkparawa Ibibio Hall, Uyo, at the weekend.
Emmanuel maintained that education must be tailored towards producing entrepreneurs and craftsmen in vocations that will add value to the society, adding that such craftsmen would be produced in Akwa Ibom state.
"I am looking at a situation where certain categories of skilled labour are produced here and when the need arises for their services such craftsmen would be fetched here," he stated.
Emmanuel further disclosed that 10 indigenes of Akwa Ibom are to be enrolled for studies in textile engineering in a Europe based institution come September, 2020.
His words: "Yesterday, officials of an institution in Europe watched this programme live and communicated to me, saying that having watched this programme and listened to my passion for technology based education, by September next year they will grant scholarship to 10 Akwa Ibom citizens to study Textile Engineering."
The governor, however, lamented that lack of capacity building has been the major problem in the society, stressing, "The problem in Nigeria is not unemployment but capacity building. If we can build our capacity, certificate will not be an issue."
The state chief executive officer hinted that arrangements have been completed for the establishment of computer laboratories in at least a school in each of the 10 federal constituencies of the state, mentioning the schools to include: St. Mary's Senior Science College, Ediene, Abak; Etinan Institute, Etinan; Community Secondary Commercial School, Ikot Akpan Essiet, Onna; Goretti Girls Secondary School, Ikot Ekpene ; and Qua Iboe Church Secondary School, Minya, Mkpat Enin.
Others are: Presbyterian Senior Science College, Ididep, Ibiono; Methodist Senior Science College, Oron; Cornelia Connelly College, Afaha Oku, Uyo, Southern Annang Comprehensive Secondary School, Ikot Okoro, Oruk Anam; and a school in Odoro Ikono, Mbiabong Ikot Udofia, Ini.
He explained that the modula classrooms built in primary schools within the Uyo urban are technologically designed to fast-track communication with schools in the remote areas, pointing out that the technology will simplify learning as knowledge will be transferred with the in-built facilities.
Delivering a lecture entitled, Knowledge as a Bedrock for Entrepreneurship, Job and Wealth Creation, the chief human resources officer, Dangote Worldwide, Logos State, Mr Usen Udoh, advocated a change in teaching method and curriculum of studies.
Udoh said the 21st century education adopts problem identification method and ability to solve such problems, rather than training on grammar qualification. He said emphasis is on skilled based education, and internship and industrial experience are preferred to theoretical experience as employers do not look at certificates but qualifications that can solve problems.
He, however, called on the organisers of the summit to come up with education roadmap that will transcend different administrations in the state.
A former vice chancellor of the University of Uyo (UNIUYO), Professor Akaneren Essien, who spoke on the topic: Funding of Education in Akwa Ibom State: A Collective Responsibility, identified appropriate funding of education as key to functional education, maintaining that there exists a nexus between capacity building and funding of education.
Essien pointed out that poor or improper funding and implementation of projects in the education system could have poor effects on students' performance and called for collaborative funding of education, which he explained, covers funding from family, parent teachers association, corporate bodies, government, alumni associations, to achieve the desired results.