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 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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