By Ime Silas
Parents and teachers in Akwa Ibom State under the auspices of Parents Teachers Association, PTA, have asked the Governor, His Excellency, Deacon Udom Gabriel Emmanuel, to properly fix the public schools in the state by, among other things, providing relevant materials needed for effective learning.
In what has been described as an endorsement of The Profile Newspaper’s consistent reports on the deteriorating condition of educational infrastructure in the state, the PTA, in a 7-points Communiqué sent to the Governor, demanded the supply of the required administrative records such as school registers, continuous assessment records, testimonial records, textbooks, etc, to public schools in the state.
It would be recalled that this Paper had in recent past, done a series on the lack of academic materials, teachers, as well as decay of schools’ physical infrastructure in the state.
Responding to questions on the communiqué, a public school teacher in the state who did not wish to be named in this report said he was at the meeting where the issues in the communiqué were discussed.
He confirmed that Governor Udom’s administration has paid deaf ears to education matters since its inception in 2015, noting that public schools in the state have no record of students.
He said “…I don’t know if there are other states in this country that experience what we are experiencing here in Akwa Ibom state. This (Udom’s) administration has killed the education sector. How can public schools be run in a state without statutory records?
“As we just resumed, we can’t tell how many students we have because we don’t have their records. We can’t manufacture it. We don’t have assessment records to evaluate their performances. There is no register of students that one can rely on in case of eventuality;
“…these were the reasons the meeting was convened. But, unfortunately, the Governor has refused to look at the points raised in the communiqué”.
Apart from non provision of learning and educational materials such as textbooks, registers, continuous assessment records, etc, visits to schools across the state have revealed various degrees of structural deterioration, caused by what one of the affected school principals described as “…consistent neglect by the state government”.
When contacted for comments on the allegation that the Governor Udom Emmanuel-led administration has neglected the education sector since its inception in 2015, the Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Enobong Mbobo, said “…the Governor has promised to focus on Education next year (2021) so let’s leave it at that for now…”.
The 7-points communiqué dated 20th August, 2020, signed by stakeholders in education sector and addressed to Governor Udom Emmanuel, a copy of which was exclusively obtained by The Profile Newspaper, reads thus in full:
20th August, 2020
His Excellency,Governor of Akwa Ibom State,Governor’s Office,Uyo,Akwa Ibom State.
Your Excellency Sir,
7-POINTS COMMUNIQUÉ ISSUED AT THE END OF THE STATE PARENT TEACHER ASSOCIATION GENERAL MEETING, HELD ON 11TH AUGUST, 2020, BY 2PM, AT COMMUNITY SECONDARY SCHOOL, AKA OFFOT, UYO.
A state PTA general meeting was called to intimate parents and teachers on the need to support government policies in curbing the spread of the dreaded Covid-19 virus in the state and to strategize for effective re-opening of schools teaching and learning process for the benefit of the students in realization of the state government free and compulsory education policy.
OBSERVATIONS:During the meeting, it was observed by most of the participants that before the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown, that public school lacked the required administrative records like school registers, continuous assessments records and many more.
They also observed that most of the schools lacked teaching staffs and some basic infrastructures, and wondered how the public school system will effectively cope after the Covid-19 lockdown.
RECOMMENDATIONS:The following recommendations were made, that the government should:
1. promptly produce and distribute Continuous Assessment Records/Registers to schools.
2. promptly produce and distribute Official School Leaving Testimonials /Transfer Certificates for issuance by the school authorities to students/pupils on demand.
3. provide Sick Bay in schools in compliance with the Covid-19 guidelines.
4. handover Muodulla class rooms built by the government to their respective schools.
5. provide adequate security in public primary/secondary schools.
6. employ and deploy adequate core-subjects teachers (English Language, Mathematics, Computer, etc.) to public primary/secondary schools.
7. procure and distribute essential textbooks/instructional materials to teachers/students in order to ensure effective and qualitative teaching and learning process.
PRAYER:His Excellency Sir, sequel to the above, we hereby unanimously for and on behalf of all the parents of students in Akwa Ibom State public primary/secondary schools humbly and earnestly plead with you to use your good offices as you always do to grant prompt approval for the implementation of the above 7-Points request to ensure that our school system is properly fixed to promote government’s Free and Compulsory Education in Akwa Ibom State.
CONCLUSION: We thank His Excellency sincerely in anticipation of his prompt action in this regard.
Attached to this communiqué is the extract of the minutes of the state PTA’s general meeting that was held on 11/8/2020 and the attendance list of the participants at the meeting that was restricted in line with the Covid-19 protocol.
Eld. (Dr) Ime Ataide, Jp– (State Chairman, NAPTAN)
Engr. Apst. Robert D. Ekpenyong — (State Secretary, NAPTAN) MEMBERS OF THE COMMUNIQUE DRAFTING COMMITTEE
1. Dr. S. E. Toby 08101227947(3rd State Vice Chairman, NAPTAN)
2. Mrs. Margaret Nyeneime Offiong 07089734964(Trinity Academy, Iton Odoro, Ikono L.G.A)
3. Mrs. Aniekan G. Emmanuel 08068331413(State Member, Etinan Institute, Etinan)
4. Eld. Okon Effiong Ekung 08037366244(PTA Chairman, Ewet Technical College, Uyo)
5. Mr. Hezekiah Jimmy Udoudo 08035499889(PTA Chairman, Government Secondary School, Ikot Ekang, Etinan)
1. His Excellency, The Deputy Governor of Akwa Ibom State.
2. The Speaker,Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly.
3. The Secretary to the State Government, AKS
4. The Chairman,Akwa Ibom Education Think-Tank (AKTTE).
5. The Hon. Commissioner,Ministry of Education, AKS.
6. The ANCOPSS President, AKS.
7. The NUT Chairman, AKS.