BAD EDUCATIONAl system was
among the myriad of problems and
challenges inherited by the present
administration in PlateauState from
the previous administration. Governor
Simon Lalong acknowledged this
fact recently while speaking at the
graduation ceremony of Saint Louis
College in Jos.
He said his plan was to improve on
the quality of primary and secondary
education in the state. He said having
started the payment of outstanding
workers salaries, his next priority
would be security and education. To
give the education sector the necessary
priority, Lalong also appointed his
Deputy Governor Prof. Sonni Tyoden
to oversee the education ministry in
the state.
Recently, the Universal Basic
Examination Commission, UBEC,
handed over a 250 capacity examination
hall and administrative block in
Government Secondary School, Du, Jos
South to the Plateau State Government.
Dr. Dikko Suleiman, the Executive
Secretary, UBEC who handed the two
structures in Jos said the structures were
part of government’s intervention to
improve the learning facilities of junior
secondary schools across the country.
The secretary who was represented by
Dr Yakubu Gambo, the deputy secretary,
Services in UBEC said the completed
structures are to further create an enabling
environment for learning in the Plateau.
He noted that many public schools
do not have conducive examinational
halls to write their junior and senior
secondary school certificate examinations
which are part of the criteria for writing
the examinations. ‘’We know with an
enabling environment, the standard of
education will be improved and there
will be no embarrassment from the
examination bodies that such public
schools do not meet part of the criteria for
writing the Junior or Secondary School
certificate exams,’’ he said.
He said the intervention programme
is also in 50 schools across the 17 LGAs
in Plateau. He said some have been
completed and some are still ongoing.
“We have interventions like this in
50 schools in Plateau, especially the
construction of blocks of classrooms.
The least is 5 blocks but where there are
enough classrooms, we focus on building
examination halls,’’ he explained.
In his response, Mr Christopher Bello,
the permanent secretary, Secondary
School Education Plateau Ministry
of Education promised to ensure the
facilities are maintained and put to
good use. He commended UBEC for
their intervention programmes in junior
secondary schools and assured them that
there will definitely be improvement
in the performance of students. Bello
said the school authority would be
held responsible for any damage in the
completed structures.
The principal of the school, Mrs Susan
Dalyop said that the new structures
have increased interest on the number
of candidates who want admission
in the school. She said they no longer
used wooden chairs and tables but the
exotic furniture provided by the UBEC
intervention.
Similarly, UBEC is constructing Elibraries
worth N255 million in three
public schools in the state, its official
have disclosed. Dr Yakubu Gambo, the
Deputy Executive Secretary (Services)
told newsmen in Jos recently that the
construction of the E-libraries in each
school will cost N85 million.
He said the libraries which are almost
completed in Unity College Bokkos,
Government Secondary School,
Pankshin, and Federal Government Girls
College, Langtang, is to reposition public
schools access to learning and research
materials. ‘’The World now is virtual,
facilitated by the convenience of the
information technology which means the
importance of E-libraries to augment the
Conventional libraries,’’ he explained.
The UBEC official expressed satisfaction
on the progress of work at the various
public schools and said the libraries will
have 40 computers each for its operation
and a generating plant. “We have
recently supervised the construction in
these public schools and work is going
on remarkably.
“The E-library will have 40 computers
in each of the public schools and a
generating plant which the Unity College,
Bokkos, already have. It is a 40kVA plant
awaiting installation,’’ he said.
Gambo said the E-libraries will not only
be for students but teachers also so that
they can have access to use information
resources and tools that have been
conventionally inaccessible. He said
the intervention of “the Commission in
constructing the libraries is also aimed
at improving the standard of education
Features
not only in Plateau but the country, a
prerequisite for development.’’
In a related matter, the State Universal
Basic Education Board, SUBEB, has
disclosed that no fewer than 1, 228
pupils left private schools to enroll
in public schools in the state in the
last six months. The SUBEB executive
chairman, Prof. Mathew Sule, told
newsmen in Jos that the migration to
public schools was because parents’
confidence in the schools had been
restored due to rising standards.
Sule added that learning and teaching
conditions in public schools had
improved. “We have recorded a crossover
of more than 1, 000 students from
private to public schools in the last six
months. Our findings show that it is
because confidence is being restored
to parents on the improved standard
of education obtainable in the public
schools.
“Public schools like the Seventh
Day Adventist, Laranto; LEA Rikkos;
Township Primary; Obasanjo Primary
School; St John Roman Catholic
Mission; all in Jos North and Jos South
have recorded cross-over. The figures
are 623, 127, 325, 120 and 33 students
respectively to these schools,’’ he said.
The SUBEB chairman asserted that the
board’s stern monitoring system had
also made teachers more committed
in their duties. “We pay the public
schools unscheduled visits,’’ he said.
Sule stressed that the rising standard
of education in public schools was
evidenced by the performance of
the Plateau delegation to the 2015
Inter-state Basic Schools’ Debate
Championship held in Ogun in
October. He noted that the students
who were all from public schools,
distinguished themselves at the
championship.
“The best speaker at the
competition was Cynthia Odeh, who
is a public school student in Plateau.
We were not amongst the first three
but the recognition indicates that
there is hope in the state’s public
school system and I am optimistic
that we will do better at subsequent
competitions,’’ the SUBEB chairman
said.
Sule recalled that Miss Sharon
Marcus, a public school student,
came second at the Spelling Bee
competition organised by the
University of Jos Alumni Association,
carting away a laptop and an Ipad.
He enjoined parents and teachers
to ensure that their children were
instilled with moral education, saying
that conventional education without
morality would expose children to
difficulty in adapting to societal moral
and social values.
The SUBEB chairman added that
children without moral education
would also be susceptible to social
vices and negative peer pressure.

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