Bassey Inyang in Calabar
The Cross River State Government has said it is working assiduously to elevate the state to the status of educationally advantaged states in Nigeria.
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Student Affairs and Youth Mobilisation, Michael Nku Abuo, who stated this while speaking at an event to mark the International Students’ Day, said it is disheartening that the state is among those classified as educationally disadvantaged because it was one of the trail blazers in education in the country.
“Cross River State is tagged an educationally less developed state and I want to tell us that at the end of this administration, we would have evolved from that to a state that is educationally developed. It is quite disheartening that the state is classified so because Calabar happens to be the first headquarters in the federation. Education also started here. One of the oldest education institutions in Calabar today is Hope Waddell.”
Abuo stated that the administration of Governor Ben Ayade is working hard to return the state to its hitherto glorious heights in the nation’s educational annals.
“So how did we get here? So we have to go through our history to find out where we had these broken linkages and I strongly believe it is a governor like Ayade who came from obscurity and poverty and broke through because of his academic prowess that would also be able to break Cross River from this educationally less developed status to one that is educationally developed.
That is why we have seen a drastic increase from the percentage allocated to the sector in the budget. As I speak there are lots of training and retraining programmes for teachers and contracts have been awarded for the restructuring of our primary and secondary education.
“Also during the governor’s visit to the State University of Technology, he said he would set a special intervention fund to ensure that people with novel ideas can build upon their research, and also increase subvention for the university. There is a whole lot this administration is putting in place to ensure that challenges students and the education sector face are addressed.
“Also recently the scholarship board has been revamped, and I believe that student from tertiary institutions and secondary schools would have the opportunity of benefiting from scholarships; there are also plans to provide soft funds for students like bursaries.”
Abuo said the state marked the International Students’ Day to address issues affecting students, as well as appraise the progress made in its education sector.
Describing the week-long event as an epoch-making one, he said, “Cross River is a member of the international community and as we mark the day, we have a governor whose focus is to ensure that we have an educationally developed state. It is on record that Cross River is the first state in the country to mark the International Students’ Day.”