Nasarawa State governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule has identified education secretaries across the country, as critical to the success of the country’s basic education programme.
Engineer Sule made this known Wednesday, while flagging off a 3-day workshop for education secretaries from across the 774 local government areas of the country, holding in Lafia, Nasarawa State.
While commending the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) for conceiving the training workshop, the governor identified education secretaries, as administrators for the delivery of educational interventions, as well as focal persons for the realisation of the objectives of basic education at all levels.
He pointed out that, the training with the theme “Improving the capacities of education secretaries for school effectiveness”, is aimed at improving the efficiency of participants, as well as building the capacity of the education secretaries towards enhanced productivity.
The governor noted that, with education being the bedrock for the socioeconomic development of the society, the theme of the training workshop is apt, in view of the collective resolve to change the narrative in the education sector, by initiating workable measures to address the challenges confronting the sector.
He emphasized that the event, will afford the education secretaries an opportunity to improve themselves with requisite knowledge, in line with modern trends.
According to Engineer Sule, elementary and basic education, remains the foundation for better educational pursuits, which explains why governments at various levels, prioritize capacity building for teachers, through regular training.
“I have no doubt that the topics earmarked for the workshop will enrich our participants on modern trends, as well as strengthen their performance in the management of education at the basic level,” he stated.
The governor used the opportunity of the event, to reiterate the commitment of his administration towards providing conducive environment for teaching and learning.
He added that, it was for this reason and more, that his administration is up to date in the payment of counterpart funds to UBEC.
Engineer Sule equally used the opportunity to appreciate the UBEC for undertaking various projects in the state namely, the UBEC Model School Lafia, as well as the Second Chance School, Akwanga.
The governor also highlighted on the inroads of his administration in the education sector to include, allocating 26 percent of the state’s 2019/20 budget to education, jerking the education budget to 35 percent in 2021, committing enormous resources for the training and retraining of teachers and by extension, the public service, for optimal productivity.
Engineer Sule said his administration has to begin from ground zero by undertaking the baseline survey of public schools, which was conducted by researchers from the Federal University Lafia.
He then charged participants at the workshop to actively engage the resources persons in order to tap from their wealth of experience.
Earlier, in an address, Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, said education secretaries play strategic and important roles in the implementation of basic education, especially that they are at the grassroots, where mobilization for children into basic education schools occur.
According to the minister, the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, places premium on education, as well as capacity building, stressing that that explains the prompt release of the 2 percent UBE intervention fund from the consolidated revenue.
He emphasized that, for the country to achieve great success in the universal basic education programme, the capacity of teachers and managers must be given priority attention.
Represented at the event by the ministry’s director of education, Mrs Folake Davis, the minister disclosed that a number of policies are being put in place by the Federal Government, to address the challenge of quality in schools.
In an opening remarks, Executive Secretary, UBEC, Dr. Hamid Bobboyi, reiterated that the role of education secretaries is crucial in the implementation of the basic education programme.
According to the UBEC boss, the ultimate goal of the basic education programme is to ensure that all children of school age, irrespective of background, attain a minimum of ten years of quality basic education.
He disclosed that, in order to impact the education secretaries, as well as teachers, with the requisite skills, knowledge and character, in line with the UBE Act (2004), 10 percent of Federal Government UBE intervention fund, is dedicated to the professional development of teachers and managers.
Dr. Bobboyi further disclosed that, from 2015 till date, a total of N25, 493, 000, 000, has been disbursed to states and the FCT, for training of teachers and managers, with over 1.4m teachers so far trained across the country.