FREE EDUCATION PROGRAMME: BAYELSA GOVT TAKES DELIVERY OF 24, 000 NEW SCHOOL UNIFORMS, TEACHING AIDS – TO BE DISTRIBUTED SOON SAYS GOV DICKSON
Bayelsa State Government says it has taken delivery of 24,000 new pairs of school uniforms from its suppliers and would soon embark on the distribution of the uniforms and other teaching aids to schools across the state.
Governor Seriake Dickson announced this while addressing head teachers of public primary schools in the state during a two-day training programme organised by the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), in conjunction with the state ministry of education and Universal Basic Education Board, SUBEB in Yenagoa.
Describing teachers as the most important ingredient in the educational system, he reiterated his administration’s commitment to giving priority attention to the the provision of quality education and human capacity development.
According to the governor, the state government will continue to treat the payment of teachers and other workers in its employ as a firstline charge in the monthly financial obligations of the state, despite the lean revenues accruing to its coffers.
He noted that, but for the financial crisis rocking the state and indeed the entire federation, his administration would have completed the building of residential quarters for headteachers in all communities and other programmes it initiated, such as the 25 constituency model boarding schools.
While calling on teachers to cooperate with the government in championing the cause of providing quality education for children under their care, Governor Dickson described the 2-day training event as a tip of the iceberg, as the government intends to organise more of such programmes at periodic intervals.
According to him, government would soon inaugurate the State Teachers’ Training Academy at Bolou-Orua in Sagbama Local Government Area and work with experts to train and retrain its teachers on current skills and techniques of imparting the right knowledge and values to their pupils and students.
His words, “We appreciate everything you and your teachers are doing. You know what we’ve been doing since we came on board in respect to education. In your various communities where you are stationed, you are seeing the honest efforts we are making; the magnificent school buildings and headmasters’ residential quarters we have built. But I’m aware that it has not gone round because we are dealing with scarce public resources.
“But even with all the schools that we have brought on board and funded, we know that the most important ingredient in the educational system is you; those of you who are seated here and the teachers under you. But even when you build the most magnificent school buildings as our government is doing, if the teachers like you don’t have the skills or they don’t have the knowledge to impart. Or they have the knowledge and skills but they don’t have the right values, then our educational system will still be in trouble.
“So as we speak,for the first time in any state in this country, we have a modern Teachers Training Academy at Bolou-Orua, which is built for your training and retraining. Going forward, our plan is that, we will work with experts to design short courses because the world is changing. So we have to change or the world will change and leave us behind. We don’t want our teachers to be left behind because any society where the teachers are left behind is a society that has left behind itself.”