In preparation for possible school re-opening, Akwa Ibom State Government has trained 2,234 Basic School Administrators on COVID-19 prevention protocols in centres across the 10 Federal Constituencies in the State.
Declaring the workshop open at Aka Community Secondary School, Uyo, the Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem remarked that the safety and wellbeing of the pupils, students and teachers is important hence, the seminar to expose School Managers to the precautionary measures of COVID-19 pandemic.
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Dr. Ekuwem who is also the State Chairman, COVID-19 Committee, appreciated the State Universal Basic Education Board for organising the exercise, said “the State Government is committed to checkmate the spread of the deadly virus, the very reason Governor Udom has ensured the erection of a world class isolation centre and other measures to combat the pandemic in our State”.
In her remarks, the Commissioner of Education, Mrs. Enobong Mbobo called on the participants to accord the lecturers maximum attention, arguing that their ability to comprehend the content of the lecture is a determinant to the safety of our pupils, students and teachers, when school re-opens.
Mrs. Mbobo, averred that Basic Education is the foundation of knowledge, therefore teachers cannot afford to toil with this level, because if the foundation is faulty, the entire structure will be of no use.
Earlier, in her welcome speech, Executive Chairman, State Universal Basic Education Board, Prof Maria Ikorok particularly commended His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Udom Gabriel Emmanuel for his proactive approach to the control of the ravages of corona virus in the State as well as passion about improving the quality of Basic Education in the State.
This passion Prof Ikorok noted is evidenced in the timely payment of the 50% the counterpart fund for UBE Matching Grant Intervention Projects, which has made it possible for the construction and renovation of classroom blocks, provision of instructional materials and equipment in the Basic Education sub-sector.
She also applauded Governor Udom for initiating the School-on-Radio programme to engage the children while at home, adding that it has been very impactful.
According to her the teachers who took part in the School-on-Radio presentations and recordings during the lockdown deserve commendation.
The Don who appreciated Universal Basic Education Commission for the quality support given to the State in the Basic Education sub-sector revealed that the training is packaged by SUBEB in collaboration with the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) Abuja.
While reiterating the need for sincere commitment by teachers, the SUBEB Boss reasoned that teachers should pursue their responsibilities as a religion, adding that it is profession of Jesus Christ.
She reiterated that the Board has carefully selected experts who have been involved in the control of COVID-19 in the State as resource persons, to train school administrators on guidelines and protocols for safety as government is strategising to get children back to schools.
Prof Ikorok, urged the participants and Basic Education stakeholders to make optimal use of the training for their personal benefits, as well as that of the schools and the State in general.
At the training, one of the resource persons, the Chairman Nigeria Medical Association, Dr. Ime Udoh, took the participants on overview and facts about the pandemic and strategic management and COVID-19 safety in schools while other resource persons dwelt on prevention of COVID-19 disease, social distancing, physical distancing and the school environment amid COVID-19, among other relevant topics.
The event featured the presentation by Commissioner of Education, Mrs. Mbobo, a Handbook published by State Universal Basic Education Board; a documentary which contain the background, structure, functions of the various Directorate and units of the Board and the Medium Term Basic Education Strategic Plan (MTBESP), which provides the basis for all activities of the Board in line with national guideline.
The SUBEB Chairman led SSA to the Governor on Education Monitoring, Board Members, Permanent Secretary and Directors on monitoring to Etinan, Eket, Abak, Ikot Ekpene, Oron and other centres to ensure the smooth conduct of the exercise.
Participants in the various centres applauded the State Government for the training and promised to adequately use the knowledge gained at the seminar to ensure the safety of the schools.
The event had in attendance Chairman, State Technical Schools Board, Hon. Godwin Udom, Board Member 1, SUBEB, Hon Bernard Duncan, BM 2, Bishop Ime Ekpe, BM 3, Hon. Inibehe Etukudo, Permanent Secretary, Elder Ezekiel Umoh, Perm. Secretary, Ministry of Education, Mrs. Helen Ante, SUBEB Directors, Ministry of Education Directors, UBEC Representative, Mrs. Patricia Obasi, SUBEB Directors and others.