The Akwa Ibom state Commissioner for Information, Sir Charles Udoh, has said that the Governor Udom Emmanuel administration is committed to transforming education in the state and has demonstrated this through strategic policies and investments in the sector.
Udoh stated this in reaction to a publication where the state chairman of the Nigerian Union of Teachers, Comrade Etim Ukpong was quoted to have made claims which seemed to deride the free and compulsory education policy of the State Government.
He said the current administration has made education a front-burner issue and has taken audacious steps to fix the ruins inherited in the education sector through huge investments in infrastructure, personnel, curriculum review, supplies and the free education policy of the state.
The statement says, “despite the unfortunate tone of the NUT Chairman’s statement, the Akwa Ibom state government remains undaunted in its march towards transforming the educational sector in the state.”
“The current government of Akwa Ibom state inherited an educational system that was already on its knees begging for attention. From infrastructure to personnel and even curriculum, strategic interventions were needed across the board. Despite the not-too friendly state of our national economy, the state government continued doggedly to fund the free and compulsory education in addition to over N600 million spent annually on WAEC/NABTEB fees for indigenes in public secondary schools.”
“The Akwa Ibom State Government in an audacious bid to find the right fix for the educational sector in the state hosted the first-ever Education Summit & Exhibition by any state in Nigeria which had as active participants all major stakeholders including the state Chairman of NUT. Subject-matter experts within the country were also brought into the mix.”
“It, therefore, calls to question the real intentions of Comrade Ukpong in castigating the state government so soon after, especially when he is aware that a committee saddled with the task of implementing decisions reached at the summit has been set up.”
The statement insisted that the NUT chairman’s comments about the state of the free and compulsory education policy which the government spends so much on were divorced from reality.