The policy thrust of the State Ministry of Education (Basic and Secondary) is to provide qualitative and functional education to all Deltans of school age as well as cater for the educational and vocational needs of adults who were unable to acquire basic education earlier in life. This policy thrust runs through the administrations of James Ibori and Emmanuel Uduaghan from 1991to date.
To this end, educational programmes and activities have been mapped out for the realization of the objectives at the Early Childhood Care Development (ECCDE), Basic and Secondary Education, Adult and Non Formal Education, Technical and Vocational education in the State. In order to ensure that the Ministry fully participates in Education For All (EFA) by 2015, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the three cardinal objectives of this administration, educational opportunities have been extended to the nooks and crannies of the State.
The last eleven years of civilian administration in the State has witnessed improvement in the education sector of Delta State, especially through the execution of numerous projects and programmes that touch on the enhancement of effective educational development at all levels.
Activities/Achievements of the Ministry 1999 and 2007 till Date
The Ministry within the period under review carried out the following activities: -
Since the inception of the Civilian Administration in the State in 1999 and 2007 till date, giant strides have been taken to improve education. The State made deliberate efforts to create an enabling teaching and learning environment by renovating and rehabilitating her schools thereby providing access to quality education for all children of School age, irrespective of their disability or ability. For instance in 2008 alone, 82 new six classroom blocks were constructed at a cost of N262,619,465.85 to decongest the large population in our schools. Also, 60 six classroom blocks were rehabilitated and renovated by the Ministry. In addition, in 2008 and 2009, 29,138 students desks and 6,049 teachers tables and chairs were provided for both primary and secondary schools to avert children sitting on the floor.
In the spirit of the UBE Scheme, twenty five primary and twenty six junior secondary schools across the State were opened for academic activities in September 2007. In addition, 42 schools closed down in the wake of the Niger Delta crises were reopened at a cost of N1 billion.
In compliance with the National Policy on Education directives, French language is given priority in the State. The State has a French Language Centre that coordinates the 24 French Pilot Schools across the State. The French language centre and 24 pilot schools have greatly enhanced the teaching and learning of French language through organizing french competitions amongst secondary school students.
The State has continued to place emphasis on science and technical education by providing 150 new sets of labless micro science laboratory kits and training of 300 Science Teachers in the use of the micro science kits. Also, science equipment worth N150 million was purchased and distributed to 50 secondary Schools across the State in 2007. In addition, Chemical items, technical and agricultural materials worth N100 million were distributed to fifty (50) secondary schools across the State.
The State Government abolished all forms of examination fees in respect of Primary School Leaving Certificate Examinations; Junior School Certificate Examinations, West African Senior School Certificate Examinations and National Board for Technical Education (NABTEB). This has brought a big relief to parents. For example, in 2008/2009 academic year, the sum of N268,503,081.09 was expended for payment of examination fees for candidates of WAEC and NABTEB examination in the State.
In the area of School Sports, the Ministry has continued to commit huge sums of money both in the development of sports in the schools and in competitions. The State’s performance in national and international school sports has been very impressive. Since its inception, the state has consistently maintained a comfortable position in both primary and secondary school competitions. The State has always maintained first position in school sports. For instance, the State emerged 2nd in National School Sports amongst schools in the 36 States and was overall second in the emerging games. In addition, the Ministry procured various sports equipment worth N13,000,000.00 and distributed same to 60 schools.
In its conscious effort to revitalize the education sector, the State Government continued to show appreciable interest in the welfare of teachers in the State. The State was the first to implement the new Teachers’ Salary Scale (TSS), and paid outstanding arrears of promotions of teachers. The State recruited 5,000 teaching and non-teaching staff for its Secondary Schools especially schools in the rural, remote and riverine communities. This was to address shortage of teachers in these communities. This is to ensure that teaching and learning are effectively carried out in Schools.
The Ministry in collaboration with the Education Trust Fund (ETF) intervened for the construction of classroom blocks, construction of technical workshops in Technical Colleges, supply of library books and instructional materials to the tune of N122 million in the 2008 intervention year. This effort has enhanced instruction in School. In addition, in 2006 and 2007, the sum of N20 million and N29.6 million respectively were allocated for school development in the State.
The Ministry entered into Public Private Partnership initiative in the completion and commissioning of three libraries stocked with books at Osadenis High School, Asaba; St Augustine College, Ibusa and Delta Secondary School, Warri by Bank PHB. In addition, 20 students in each of the schools mentioned above were granted scholarships.
The Ministry together with its Agencies: Post Primary Education Board (PPEB) and State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) organized various training workshops and seminars for principals and teachers in the school system. 265 teachers were trained on family life education HIV/AIDS in four subject areas: Biology, Integrated Science, English Studies and Social studies. In addition, 142 Guidance & Counselling teachers in adolescent reproductive health counselling and 704 peer educators were trained in the period under review.
The Ministry formulated and published a set of policy guidelines for smooth administration in the school system.
From the foregoing, it is obvious that State Government through the Ministry has spent enormous resources in the education sub-sector in tandem with the three point agenda of the present administration.