*Sets up 56 pilot French teaching schools
*Scraps Government payment for SSC Exams
Omon-Julius Onabu in Asaba
Delta State Government is resolutely committed to teachers’ welfare as well as provision of quality and effective education in the state, the state Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, Mr. Chiedu Ebie, has said.
Ebie disclosed this at an interactive session with the Executive and members of All Nigerian Confederation of Principals of Secondary Schools, (ANCOPSS), Delta State Wing, held at Osadenis Mixed Secondary School, Asaba.
In company with the commissioner were the Chairman, Post Primary Education Board (PPEB) Dr. Patrick Akporuno, Third Member PPEB, Mrs. Ifeomah Agboma, Permanent Secretaries, Mr. David Onokpe and Mr. Coleman Agbegha, as well as PPEB Zonal Permanent Secretaries, Directors and Chief Inspectors of Education of the Ministry.
While stressing the sincerity of the present administration to ensure success in the education system, Ebie noted that Okowa administration has demonstrated sincere passion for revamping ailing school structures even as his zeal for technical and vocational education despite the pervading harsh economic climate in the state and the nation.
He said Governor Ifeanyi Okowa’s zeal for technical and vocational education, for instance, could be attested to within and beyond the state, including the “human capital development of the professional teachers as government has been magnanimous in approving study leave with pay for teachers” with over 30 teachers benefiting in 2016, including 15 who are pursuing doctorate degree programmes.
The commissioner assured that the government would not relent in rewarding deserving teachers by way of promotion as demonstrated in the approval for promotion of 8,910 public secondary school teachers across the state consisting of 4,047 for the year 2015, and 4,863 for 2016.
He further stated that 39 teachers on salary grade levels 16 step 9 were recently approved for promotion to salary grade Level 17.
Ebie further said that government has a renewed focus on French education in schools as a second language and has concluded plans for the redistribution of French teachers to the 56 pilot French teaching schools across the state including a training programme for French Teachers in not too distant future.
Nonetheless, the commissioner revealed that the Cognitive/Placement and Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) results have been released and the processes of admission have commenced in earnest.
“Going forward, the admission process into schools must be concluded within a stipulated timeframe and this year all admissions must be concluded by 31st October, 2016 to enable everyone focus on academic matters”, Ebie disclosed.
On the issue of examination, he said that all candidates sitting for the West African Senior School Certificate Examinations (WASSCE) shall, henceforth, be responsible for such payments as government has noted the continual wastage of its payment of external examinations particularly WASSCE for candidates in state and the continued rise of registered absentee candidates, who connived with their parents and other persons to drift to miracle centres outside the state to write examination already paid for by the state government.
He however, said that government will continue to graciously fund all internal examinations including Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE), Cognitive/Placement Examination, First and Second Term Examinations and the Promotion Examinations in public schools.
Ebie also announced that government has considered it expedient for an upward review of boarding fees to N40,000.00 per term with effect from the 2016/17 session for boarding students in the state model schools and other public secondary schools in the state that offer boarding facilities in order to meet the economic realities of the day as well as assist the schools in providing decent feeding and increased maintenance of the facilities in such schools.
He stated that government in its consideration of the cardinal role of schools sports in the overall school health and in line with the yearnings of the public has approved the re-introduction of N200.00 NSSF levies, per term in order to enable schools meet up with the school sports component of the curriculum and in particular conduct and participate in the compulsory inter-house sports competitions.
He reiterated State government’s commitment to zero tolerance on collection of levies under any guise by school heads, Chief Inspectors of Education and Local Government Education Secretaries or anyone involved in the administration of Schools. He thereafter, emphasised that PTA collections were permissible but must be at the instance and in conjunction with parents, subject to prescribed guidelines and approval by the Ministry.
While congratulating the teachers, whom he described as great, Mr. Ebie charged them to cultivate the culture of diligence, hard work, professionalism and administrative competence in all ramifications.