By Justin Bodun
Education is the bedrock of the development of any society. It is a critical instrument in empowering the population and providing relevant skills and expertise needed to become self-reliant and create wealth. Public school enrollment figures have substantially decreased over the past decade due to a loss of confidence in the system. Despite the enormous financial burden, low-income earners opt for privately owned schools to deepen their children’s academic inclination and help them compete favourably with contemporaries. Infrastructural decay and inadequate personnel are some concerns against meeting the aspirations of the free and compulsory education policy at the primary and secondary levels. At the same time, tertiary institutions in the state still rank below average regarding research output.
To tackle these issues of infrastructural decay and inadequate personnel, Senator Obong Albert Bassey Akpan (Oba), the Governorship candidate of the YPP party intends to implement the following key education strategies.
- Increasing budgetary provision for the sector.
- Enhancing staff/student ratio for quality output. » Developing a sustainable model for effective monitoring and performance evaluation.
- Upgrading Technical Colleges with state-of-the-art facilities and framing them to become Technology Incubation Centers for the training of human resources.
- Refurbishing of Senior Science Colleges.
- Establishing gifted children’s schools in each of the state’s ten (10) Federal Constituencies.
- Developing infrastructures such as libraries, laboratories, workshops, etc., with at least a minimum acceptable standard for accreditation by examination bodies.
- Training of teachers at primary and secondary levels and development of academic staff in tertiary institutions.
- Promoting academic excellence by instituting a merit-based scholarship scheme to enable indigenes to contribute to the state’s economic development through research outputs.
- Collaborating with the Federal Government and donor agencies to facilitate developmental programmes of interest in the state.
- Revitalizing tertiary institutions through adequate funding and infrastructural expansion.
- Returning the Akwa Ibom State University to a specialized University of Science and Technology as provided for in the initial development plan of the institution.
- Upgrading of the Obio-Akpa Campus of Akwa Ibom State University to a specialized University of Agriculture and Research.
- Establishing a conventional University to accommodate courses not offered in the specialized Universities.
Oba is determined to revitalize Akwa Ibom’s educational sector, thus transforming the state into a pioneer of innovative education in the nation’s educational sector.
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