A PRESENTATION TO THE EXECUTIVE COUNCIL OF AKWA IBOM STATE ON THE 23rd OF NOVEMBER, 2020.
The State Secondary Education Board (SSEB) was established in 1988 backed up by enabling Law Bill No. 4 of 16th June 2003. The Board has the mission to articulate policies for all round education of the students, using creative communication and a well motivated work force consistently pursuing excellence in service delivery through effective quality control mechanism. It has the vision to transform the Akwa Ibom child into a socialized individual having the requisite skills for life long learning and the ability to contribute to national development. The Board has 25 Zonal Offices/ Local Education Committees (LECs) and 252 public Secondary Schools and one special education centre under her control.
After the inauguration of the Board by His Excellency, Mr. Udom Gabriel Emmanuel, the Executive Governor of Akwa Ibom State on the 21st of August, 2020, the Board swung into action in the wake of resumption of Schools in the post pandemic season.
To abreast itself with the reality of our responsibilities, the board embarked on familiarization tour, aggressive inspection and supervision of schools to assess and evaluate the state of compliance to Covid-19 protocol and precautionary measures, standard of quality assurance in the schools and compliance to the Government resumption guidelines.
Suffice to say here that while there was reasonable measure of compliance in the resumption and Covid-19 precautionary protocols for the third term of 2019/2020 Session, to sustain continuous awareness and compliance in this direction for the new academic session, the Board has a lot of work to do.
It is pertinent to note that the state of our schools is indeed a far cry from what it should be in all the areas, hence, the need for an urgent intervention.
Areas of concerns are numerous, but for now, the Board would focus on the major areas for urgent consideration to consolidate on the gains and enhance the quality and effectiveness of the Free and Compulsory Education Policy of the Akwa Ibom State Government and the Completion Agenda.
- RECRUITMENT OF TEACHERS
In the course of the Board familiarization tour and inspection visits to Schools, it was discovered that most of our Schools are in dire need of teachers.
- Presently, the general teacher to students’ ratio is 1:97 in subject areas such as English, Mathematics, Further Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Geography while subjects such as Financial Accounting, Home Economics, History, Fine/Creative Arts, French and Ibibio have a teacher to students’ ratio of 1:484 as a result of non- availability of teachers in these subject areas.
Your Excellency, the Board graciously appeals for the recruitment of teachers in all subject areas as a matter of urgency if our students must perform creditably well in their academic pursuits and examinations.
- TEACHERS WELFARE
Motivation enhances productivity; hence, the Board humbly appeals to Your Excellency to approve the release of teachers’ promotion and welfare packages as follows:
- 2017: LEVEL 17 only
- 2018: LEVELS 08 – 17
- 2019: LEVELS 08 – 17
- Funds for 2020 promotion interview which is pending.
- Approval of study leave and release of letters to affected teachers.
- Regular training of teachers should be done to enhance productivity.
The spate of insecurity across States and in the schools is alarming. While appreciating all that the government is doing in the State in terms of timely intervention of the police to save lives and property, the Board graciously request;
- That at least four (4) security personnel should be provided in all public Schools in the State. Flash point schools should be guarded by police security.
- Perimeter fencing should be provided for all public schools for safety of lives, properties and to forestall encroachment especially by village heads and influential members of the Community. In addition, to curb cultism, vandalization of facilities and abuse of our young girls as experienced in some of the schools.
This is a prerequisite for meaningful management of Institutions and Organizations. The non – availability of funds poses serious challenge to the school system. Therefore, the Board appeals to His Excellency as follows;
- That the subvention to Schools should be increased from N200 and N100 to N300 and N200 respectively for Secondary and Primary schools per term and should be released in a timely manner (at least 2 weeks before resumption of each term).
- Funds should also be released to the Board (SSEB) for the production of Statutory Records for Schools.
- An Executive Order by His Excellency to SUBEB to give some percentage of her allocation from both the Federal and State Governments to Ministry of Education and State Secondary Board at the ratio of 10:30 since the facilities and responsibilities are shared between SUBEB and SSEB (Junior Secondary Schools).
- An approval for a robust involvement of Parents in the education of their children/ wards. Each Parent should contribute the sum of N1,000 (One thousand Naira) only per term as P.T.A dues to support infrastructural maintenance and security.
- Text books, exercise books, desks, uniforms and shoes should be provided by the Parents/Guardians for effective learning.
- Massive renovation of classroom blocks across the State and construction of new ones to reduce overcrowding in schools.
- Government should construct and equip school Laboratories and Libraries for effective teaching and learning. (Science is the gateway to future development).
- Provide ICT facilities in the schools to expose the students to a world of possibilities as the future of learning is dependent on ICT.
- Provision of hand mowers to help keep the environment clean.
- Provision of boreholes to enhance sanitation and provide potable water in our schools.
- QUALITY ASSURANCE IN SCHOOLS
We appeal to Government to assist provide the Board with the following;
- 5 Utility Vehicles (Hilux Trucks) for effective supervision and monitoring of the 252 Secondary Schools, the 25 Zonal Education Offices (ZEO) and Local Education Committees (LECs) especially in difficult terrains and rural areas. (e.g. Ibiono Ibom, Itu, Ini, Ika, Ikot Ekpene, Oruk Anam, Ikono, Ibeno, Urue Offong, Okobo, Mbo, Eastern Obolo LGAs).
- Furnishing and equipping of offices; The offices of Board members need renovation work. We have leaking toilets, water logged walls, leaking decks and several broken office furniture.
- A functional ICT UNIT urgently needed to enable processing of documents, collation, storage of data and other information to prevent government secret being leaked to the public.
- Special grant should be provided for renovation and furnishing of the Zonal Offices (ZEO) and Local Education Committees (LECs) with office furniture and equipment such as; Generators, Computers, Photocopiers as work tools.
The Board is grateful to his Excellency for the initial approval done to enable us kick start our work but further appeals for more financial assistance to do better.
Thank you and may God Bless Akwa Ibom State.
HON. EKAETTE EBONG OKON (PhD)
The Executive Chairman SSEB