A’Ibom Education Think Tank Committee Steps-Up Consultation with Education Stakeholders

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…sues for operational collaboration

To further strengthen its operational mandate of designing a strategic education roadmap for the education sector of the State, the Akwa Ibom State Education Think Tank Committee on Monday, May 18 had an interactive session with higher level education stakeholders in the State.

The stakeholders which included: Heads of Education Boards, Heads of Tertiary Institutions, Permanent Secretaries, Special Assistants and Senior Special Assistants to the Governor, Unions, Associations, Inoyo Toro Foundation, FEYREP etc met at the Civil Service Auditorium to further deliberate on possible solutions to the challenges of education raised at the last Education summit and to chart a new direction for the Education sector in line with the Sustainable Development goals proposed for 2020.

Addressing the Guests, the Commissioner for Education, Prof. Nse Essien said the gathering of key stakeholders was for the purpose of re-engineering the State’s Education system. According to him, the recent consultations were a follow-up to the Akwa Ibom State Education summit which created an opportunity to take stock and better understand the defect in the State’s school system.

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One of the legacies of the Udom administration he noted, is to leave behind a solid Education foundation which will prepare the next generation of Akwa Ibom Youths for the fourth Industrial Revolution hence, the need for everyone to join hands and reinvent Akwa Ibom State to be an active participant in the coming digital revolution through quality Education and Innovations. “We must use our Education to mainstream all her visions, aspirations, economic and human resource developments. As part of the global community, we must strive to eradicate illiteracy in the State by 2030 in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) No.4”, he said.

He intimated the gathering that the main task of the Think Tank committee was to formulate the “Akwa Ibom State strategic Education Roadmap (2020-2030)” to create a pyramidal Education Support system for the State. The committee he said, will commence on an initial one year post workshop assignment to develop strategic documents and proposals as derivatives of the workshop for use in engagements of prospective sponsors and collaborators, while urging key stakeholders to buy into the project and make contributions as well as suggestions in the form of memorandum to enrich the final report of the Think Tank Committee with deadline being 30th, May 2020.

Earlier in her address, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mrs. Helen Ante said the Governor decided to constitute an Education Think Tank Committee made up of men and women of proven integrity as a result of resolutions reached at the summit. The meeting she said was an avenue to seek collaboration as the job of repositioning the sector was the responsibility of everyone. She expressed confidence in the ability of the Guests to bring their wealth of experience to bear in helping the Committee achieve their set target.

The Chairman of the Think Tank Committee, Prof. Hilary Inyang while briefing the stakeholders stated that the establishment of Technical Colleges and Technical Aid Programmes account for the strength of the United States, leading the country to full scale industrialization hence the need to encourage entrepreneurial studies in the Akwa Ibom State School Curriculum. He disclosed the elements of the strategic Education Roadmap and the schedule of activities on its development and launching. Also contained in the policy document presented by him were the Akwa Ibom Education datas to be provided by May 25, 2020 by the Akwa Ibom State Ministry of Education to the GEISE Liaison office

Furthermore, he said the activities of the Think Tank will build on the programmes that the Government has already initiated to improve education at all levels in the State. The major sectors for improvement with specific projects he said include physical infrastructures, equipments and furnishing, projects and programmes. Prof. Inyang solicited for a memoranda from Akwa Ibom citizens and organisations as an important engagement process of the general public by the Think Tank Committe with the target consideration aspects well outlined.

An interactive session ensued as a cross section of respondents commended the State Governor for taking steps to implement the recommendation of stakeholders during the Education Summit while expressing confidence in his ability to transform the sector. Persons with disabilities also appealed to the Committee to fashion ways to ensure they are carried along in the scheme. The Chairman took time to respond to each contribution and pledged to effectively utilise every suggestion put forward. Questionnaires were given out to representatives of schools to enable them analyse the state of affairs in their various institutions

Dr. Enobong Joshua, a member of the Think Tank Committee in his vote of thanks lauded the Governor for his thoughtfulness and vision and the constitution of the Committee. He thanked the Commissioner for Education for working tirelessly during the lockdown period while urging everyone to set their minds on the goal of revamping the economy of the State through Education as envisioned by the Governor.

Credit: David Genius