The Kogi State Commissioner for Education Science and Technology, Hon. Wemi Jones FCIB IION, has called on eminent indigenes of the state to key into the School Adoption and Mentorship Programme of the Ministry to improve the standard of secondary school education.
He made the call at a meeting of the Ministry with the Education Task Force in the Central Senatorial District of the state on Friday, at Government Day Secondary School, Iruvucheba, Okene Local Government Area, while discussing problems confronting secondary schools in the area.
The Commissioner said the government of Alhaji Yahaya Bello had from inception declared a state of emergency on education and had been taking practical steps to address problems in the sector.
“The State government had thrown sufficient weight behind education seeing it is the only quarantee for building a sustainable future; but government cannot do it alone.”
He explained that the state government increased budgetary allocation for education to 30%, going beyond UNESCO’s benchmark and also embarked on massive construction, renovation and remodelling of schools; but that the people had to complement the efforts.
“Our brothers and sisters would have to be involved, we must come together as a people to revamp education.”
“The government is committed to spending money, but after that, it is you and I that will supervise it’, he averred.
He said the world is moving towards Science, Technological, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and the State must not be left behind in the stream, as Governor Yahaya Bello is committed to enlisting the state among the best educationally developed in the country.
While noting the shortage of teachers in the state, Hon. Jones said government is fixing the problem; we are going to ensure that every school is adequately staffed”, he emphasised.
He said statistics showed that public secondary schools needed between three thousand to four thousand teachers, which the government is aware of and is working on.
He called on parents to take responsibility for their children and wards; saying it is against the Kogi State Education Law for any child of school age to go hawking during school hours.
He also charged Old Students Associations to give back to their schools; calling on those who have problems forming associations of their alma mater to contact the Ministry for assistance.
Hon. Jones commended the Central Senatorial District Task Force for their initiative at coming together and lessening the task of the Ministry, while calling for replication of such formidable educational forces across the state.
Earlier, the Coordinator of Kogi Central Education Task Force, Mr. Muhammed Yusuf said the body was formed to promote teaching and learning in the area, and the meeting to address increasing trends of school dropout and indiscipline among secondary school students.
The Community Chairman, Alhaji Oseni observed that the standard of education had fallen and called on government to redress the situation; while the Chairman of ANCOPPSS, Alhaji Abdulazzez requested that government should fix school infrastructure and employ teachers urgently.
The task force comprises of parents, teachers, Community leaders, Education Secretaries, members of ANCOPPSS and other stakeholders of education in the area.