By Magnus Emuji
In the face of the prevailing trends where competitiveness has occupied the front burner for the advancement of the mankind, effective driving of the education system by relevant authorities concerned appears to play critical role in the realisation of this noble course.
There is no gain saying the fact that education is the bedrock of any meaningful development and often times access to qualitative education by the citizenry provides avalanche of opportunities needed by every individual to add values to their lives and that of the society at large .
In tandem with the recommendation of the United Nations Educational and Scientific Organisation (UNESCO), it is the fundamental responsibility of all governments to provide platforms for children to learn effectively without any hindrances.
Consequently, an informed society always aspire for greatness, striving more to break new grounds for their peaceful coexistence. Thus, education could be considered as an antidote for conflict resolution that invariably goes a long way towards unraveling disunity among people and nations.
Therefore, any society or government institutions that fails to recognise the importance of education, especially in the area of proffering solutions to problems confronting mankind at any given time, might be regarded as not only ‘primitive but doomed ‘.
To this end, however, governments at all levels are expected to ensure that they strive strongly and determinedly committed towards providing conducive learning environment for their children with modern facilities as well as evolve ways of carrying out crucial routine updates of the instructional materials in their schools vis a vis ensure regular review of the school curriculum so as to meet the trends of time in learning activities.
In Delta State, Senator (Dr.) Ifeanyi Okowa’s administration had continually demonstrated uncommon desire to give the education sector a face lift as envisioned in his Stronger Delta mantra, in realisation of the fact that in a bid to leave endearing legacies in various sectors of the economy, education is inadvertently critical in the quest for the actualisation of sustainable development .
The administration places high premium in safeguarding a better future for the children by laying a very solid foundation for the overall well-being of the state.
To ensure that children of school age in all parts of the state have uninterrupted access to qualify learning environment, the Okowa administration shortly after assumption of office in 2015, embarked on aggressive turnaround of the education sector through the establishment of more public primary and secondary schools in the state while also focusing attention in other sectors towards redefining governance in the state.
However, the resolve of the state government to build more schools and at the same time, refurbish and equip others that might be in some deplorable condition may not be unconnected with the deficiency in the number of public secondary schools occasioned by the return of schools to the original owners, the missionaries, sometime in 2011 under the administration of his predecessor, former Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan.
Very recently, the state government commissioned series of completed projects in the state including roads and education sector was not left out .
Again, it is also on record that the expanding population status of Asaba, the state capital, Agbor and Warri as well as the seemingly urbanisation of some cities across the state, could also form the basis for the building of more schools as a deliberate approach to ensure that all children of school age are not denied access to education.
Speaking during the official commissioning of Government Primary School, located at the Junior Staff Quarters in Asaba, the former Senate President, Senator (Dr.) Bukola Saraki, said that societies that invested in education were always successful, adding that Governor Okowa had shown relentless commitments to deliver human capital development to the people of Delta State and advised teachers in the school to maximum the benefits of establishing the school to impact positively on children in the area of improved teaching and learning.
Earlier, Delta State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, who said that the school was built as a result of the population explosion in the state capital territory, emphasised that his admission would continue to provide more primary and secondary schools for children to learn and congratulated the Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, Mr. Patrick Ukah, for his outstanding performance in the education sector.
In a welcome address, Mr. Ukah recalled that the state government had commenced the building of the Government Primary School, Junior Staff Quarters, Asaba in September 2018, adding that the construction of the school was to reduce pressure on school enrolment and placement in the capital territory. The Basic and Secondary Education Commissioner, who noted that presently, the school has about 300 pupils, stated that the school has the capability to accommodate 760 pupils at an average of 40 pupils per classroom.
On his part, the Chairman of Oshimili South Local Government Area, Hon. Obi Kelvin Ezenyeli, described the the facility as one of the legacy projects of the Governor, adding that education was key to the success of every child in the society and commended Senator (Dr.) Okowa for his visionary leadership in the state.
Similarly, the newly established Igumbor-Otiku Secondary School in Agbor, Ika South Local Government Area, was inaugurated on Match 24, 2021 by the Zamfara State Governor, Alhaji Bello Mohammed Matawella, accomplished by his Sokoto State counterpart, Rt. Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, who were in the state on the invitation of Delta State Governor to commission triple projects including the Igumbor-Otiku Secondary School, the 13.5 km network of roads in Okpanam, Oshimili North Local Government Area and the ultra modern Traditional Rulers’ secretariat in Asaba.
Speaking during the commissioning of Igumbor-Otiku Secondary School, Zamfara State Governor, Alhaji Bello Mohammed Matawella, commended the Governor Okowa for his holistic approach towards uplifting lives in the state through several people oriented projects and specifically for his administration’s huge investment in the education sector.
The Zamfara State Governor, who described Senator Okowa as a ‘bridge builder’ across all divides, said that education was key to nation building, just as he urged Deltans to redouble their support to the Okowa administration in his efforts to reposition the state through infrastructural development.
Earlier in a welcome address, the State Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, Mr. Patrick Ukah, who acknowledged the supporting role of the governor in ensuring that the education sector lives to its expectations, appreciated the duo of Zamfara and Sokoto State Governors for honouring the invitation of Senator Okowa to inaugurate projects in the state comprising the newly built school in Agbor.
The Basic and Secondary Education Commissioner said that the school was founded in the year 2016 by inheriting the old facilities of Igumbor-Otiku Primary School with the goal of decongesting the increasing population of students in Ogbemudein Model Secondary School, Agbor.
Recalling that the actual construction work in the school commenced in April 2018, Mr. Ukah lauded his predecessor, Mr. Chiedur Ebie, who is now the Secretary to State Government (SSG), under who the project was kick-started .
Mr. Ukah, who stated that following the handover of schools back to the missions by the state government in 2011, Ogbemudein Secondary School became the only public secondary school operating in Agbor metropolis, said that this development resulted in an enrolment pressure on the school leading to it being overpopulated.
While enumerating the facilities available in the school to include a two storey building of 12 classroom blocks each with toilets, examination hall, four science laboratories and ICT laboratory as well as water system, Mr. Ukah further disclosed that the current population of the school was 1,700 students.
The Chairman of Ika South Local Government Council, Hon. Sunday Tatabuzkgwu, who appreciated the governor for transforming the school to a world class edifice, reiterated that education was sacrosanct for the upliftment of the society.
In his address, the representative of the Dein of Agbor and the President-General of Agbor Development Union, Mr. Larry Onyechie, noted that Delta State Government under the watch of Senator Okowa had performed beyond expectations in the area of infrastructural development of the state, with emphasis on road infrastructure in the council as well as other parts of the state.
He specifically commended Senator Okowa for the recent upgrading of the College of Education, Agbor, to a full fledged University known as Delta State University, Agbor.
Recall that the state government started the commissioning of schools with that of Ighogbadu Secondary School, at Okumagba Layout, Warri, which was performed by the Governor of Bayelsa State, Senator Duoye Diri.