AN ADDRESS DELIVERED BY THE EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN OF STATE SECONDARY EDUCATION BOARD RT. HON. EKAETTE EBONG OKON (PhD) ON THE 3RD OF NOVEMBER, 2020 ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD ON THE OCCASSION OF A COURTESY VISIT TO THE HONOURABLE COMMISSIONER OF EDUCATION, DR. MRS. ENOBONG MBOBO.
The Honourable Commissioner,
Directors and Staff of the Ministry of Education,
On behalf of the State Secondary Education Board (SSEB), let me formally congratulate the Honourable Commissioner for your meritorious appointment to this Ministry and by extension to all members of the Board. I want to use this opportunity to express my gratitude to His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Akwa Ibom State Mr. Gabriel Udom Emmanuel and by extension his dear wife (Dr.) Mrs. Martha Udom Emmanuel and his executive for deeming it right to nominate these five (5) very distinguished experienced lady and gentlemen as members of this Board. We are eternally grateful and pledge our loyalty to this administration even as we are committed to the task ahead of us.
It is my pleasure to acknowledge the Permanent Secretary, who has been very helpful in assisting Members of the Board have a smooth take off and settle into the jobs assigned to us.
Members of the Board have spent time to read the objectives of the Law establishing the Board which includes the following;
- Employment, confirmation, promotion and dismissal of Staff.
- Discipline of Staff.
- Secondment of Staff of the Board to other necessary areas of Government as need may arise.
- Manage, inspect, monitor, supervise Secondary Schools and the Staff.
- Development of curricular and recommendation of Textbooks.
- Provide facilities and maintain same in public Schools e.g Libraries, Sports Facilities etc.
- Superintend over the Local Education Committees (LEC).
- Create various Committees to assist in the smooth administration and management of Secondary Schools.
- Plan and supervise schedule of duties / schemes of service of Staff etc.
Members of this Board are men and women of good reputation, high integrity, technocrats with proven experiences, and have the capacity to do the above. To this end, members have hit the ball rolling to achieve the expectations of the Executive Governor of the State while complying with the Civil Service rules. The State is in a hurry to change the narratives of the Educational Sector particularly Secondary Education and that is why the State government put together an Education summit last year. This was to give room to re-engineering of our educational system to remedy the challenges and problems embedded in the system. As the saying goes “Self-reflection is the gateway to freedom. It is the school of wisdom”. We must reflect on where we stand today and where we want to be tomorrow.
In today’s global economy and age of digital disruption, we have no choice other than becoming a Board that fosters learning, creativity and innovations, so that our students can attain greater heights of achievement and be exemplary citizens in the global economy. We must understand that the true mark of success is our sustained ability to make our immediate and extended communities better than we met them. The world is moving and changing at a rather fast pace, so SSEB must embrace dynamism in all spheres of its academic activities.
However, SSEB is saddled with a lot of issues that pose problems and is not allowing us to do our work with ease such as the following;
- Poor allocation of funds appropriated to the Board. For months no imprest was given and these hampered the work of the Board.
- No functional Computers and Photocopiers to work with. Most documents are taken out for typing and this causes delays on time-lines and insecurity of government documents that should be considered secret.
- Non release of Teachers 2018 Promotions till date causing poor motivation and response to duty.
- Non release of Principal General Promotions to Level 17 after serving for over 6 years since 2016
- Non conduct of 2019 and 2020 Teachers’ service progression exercise.
- Monitoring and evaluation of the 253 Secondary Schools in the State and 25 Local Education Committee (LEC)
- State of our schools is very appalling and needs urgent attention.
- Insecurity thus giving rise to land encroachment and violence in various schools due to the porous nature of schools.
- Inadequate Staffing both teaching and non-teaching.
The Board therefore request the Hon. Commissioner to present our problems to the Executive Governor for urgent intervention so we can salvage our educational system and equip the students with knowledge suitable for proper development for the present and future life demands. The great news is that we are starting from a place of immense strength when the government is interested in changing the narratives of our Educational Sector.
Collectively, the tenacity and passion of our Board Members, the expected steadfast commitment of the Staff, the cooperation and commitment of our Principals, teachers, our Students and our core values of creativity, innovation, competence, knowledge and dedication are a great launch-pad to our vision of placing the State Secondary Education Board in the right perspective. Mere rhetoric will not be enough.
Our long-term success will depend on strong actions without bias and prejudice, selfless service, good working relationships and multilevel partnerships with the Ministry of Education and the Executive. It is therefore my utmost desire that all hands should be on deck towards taking Secondary Education to an enviable height.
It is with this that we all can look back in 4 years to come and have a sense of accomplishment. Members of the Board cannot do it alone but “Together we Can”.
Let me stop here but thank you Honourable Commissioner and your team for the opportunity given to us today to have an in-depth talk with you.
God bless SSEB,
God bless the Ministry of Education,
God bless Akwa Ibom State
And God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
- HON. EKAETTE EBONG OKON (PhD)
Executive Chairman for the Board