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An Interim Report Of A Survey Of Subeb Educational Projects Submitted By The Ssa To The Governor On Research & Social Media On The Completion Of 25 Mega Schools

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Introduction:
On the 14th of February, during his inaugural address, Governor Henry Seriake Dickson declared a state of emergency on education. Since then, government has matched words with action. It is true that no school has been renovated or built; some very critical steps have been taken to show government's resolve to fulfill the restoration promise of leveraging on human capital for the development of the State. In the first 60 days, the administration demonstrated the capacity to place Bayelsa State on the map of educationally advanced State. During the electioneering campaigns, he promised to build a solid manpower base in the State for accelerated development.

So far, the education emergency has yielded the following results. Only three days after assuming office, Governor Henry Seriake Dickson set up of eight task-teams to visit all Local Governments in Bayelsa State to assess the state of infrastructure in schools. The Task Teams have submitted their reports to the State Government. Pleasantly, in the next couple of weeks, government will award contracts for the construction and rehabilitation of the Schools.

The Government Science & Technical College at Aleibiri has been inspected and plans are underway for the reconstruction and revitalization of the Technical College. It will be a citadel of excellence in lower level skills acquisition in Bayelsa State. An executive bill for the re-establishment of the State College of Arts and Science in the State has been sent to the Bayelsa State House of Assembly for accelerated hearing and passage. The School is billed to take-off in the Compound of Bishop Dimeari Government Seconday School, Yenagoa. Plans are also in top gear to commence the construction of infrastructure for the Teacher Training and Retraining School in Okordia-Zarama and more.

Basic education is like the foundation of a building. When the foundation of a building is strong, When a child acquires quality basic education, post-primary and tertiary education are a given. Basic or foundational education occupies a significant place in the entire educational system. In Nigeria, the body that administers basic education is the Universal Basic Education, which collaborates with the States and shares responsibility with the States.

Jean Jacque Rousseau (1762), opined that: “Nature wants children to be children before they are men. If we deliberately depart from this order, we shall get pre mature fruits which are neither ripe nor well flavoured and which soon decay childhood has ways of seeing, thinking and feeling peculiar to its self, nothing can be more foolish than seek to substitute our ways for them”.

Similarly research findings have shown that beneficial early childhood programmes yield rich benefits not only in immediate ways for the child and its parents, but also over time in terms of the child ability to contribute to the community. Children consistent caring attentions are better nourished, less prone to sickness and learn better than children who do not receive such care.

The department was established with effect from 31st August, 2004, to enhance the quality of Early Childhood Development in the State. This is done through clear specification of the minimum standards to be met by agencies responsible for teachers training, retraining and local material development.

THE PURPOSE OF PRE-PRIMARY EDUCATION:
 Effect a smart transition from the home to school.

 Prepare the child for the primary level of education.

 Provide adequate care and supervision for the children, while their parents are at work.

 Inculcate in the child the spirit of enquiry and creativity through the exploration of nature, the environment, art, music and playing with toys.

 Develops a sense of cooperation and team spirit.
 Learn good habits, especially good health habits.

 Teach the rudiments of numbers, letters, colour, shapes forms etc through play.

“SUBEB as an agency for the implementation of the UBE programme is resolute in harnessing available human and material resources to Universal Basic Education Programme in Bayelsa State”.

MISSION STATEMENT
“To partner with stakeholders to provide quality basic education that will enhance a sustainable level of literacy and numeracy that will enable the school age child to realise its potentials at the end of a 9 year continuous basic education.

The State Universal Basic Education Board was inaugurated on 6th of August 2012. At the beginning when the appointees resume office nothing was on ground, official documents was typed outside, and photocopies were made outside too. And there was no light, printers and other gadgets were not functional.

LIST OF THE 25 MEGA SCHOOLS
Agudama-Epie
Otuoke
Odi
Amassoma
Toru-Ndoro
Toru-Orua
Aleibiri
Ekeremor
Nembe/Basambiri
Nembe/Ogbolomabiri
Oporoma
Ogbia-Town
Opolo
Swali
Okpoama
Zarama
Kaiama
Azikoro
Bolou-Orua
Elebele
Agoubiri
Igbeta-Iwoama
Gbarain-Ekpetiama
Amassoma
Sagbama
Ebedebiri
From the foregoing, in 2012, 2, 293 teachers in Primary and Basic Junior Secondary Schools and 347 education managers (Head Teachers, Principals, LGEA Education Chairman, School Supervisors) were trained, bringing the total number of participants trained to 2,640. To complement Federal Government's effort, the education friendly Governor of Bayelsa State, Hon. Seriake Dickson trained the remaining 3,000 teachers in the State.

Facilities in a Mega School in Bayelsa State
1. 12 classroom
2. 75 KVA Generator
3. Water Scheme
4. Computers Theatres
5. Special Rooms for Intro. Tech and the Sciences
6. Laboratory
7. A Library
8. 23 Toilets
9. A Standard Store
10. A Large Multipurpose Hall that can seat 2000 persons

11. An open play Ground and Sports facilities
12. Headmasters/Headmistress' Quarters
Importance of Basic Education
Recognizing the prime position Governor Seriake Dickson accords education and the centrality of education in the societal well-being and good governance, the office of the SSA to Governor Seriake Dickson with his team elected to conduct a survey of the Twenty Five (25) MEGA SCHOOLS and other principal developments in the basic education sector.

For those who know, the 25 Mega Schools were awarded by the Mr. Timipre Sylva administration and mobilization was paid to contractors but the schools were abandoned. Some of them were never started at all. But in a swift turn around, the Governor Dickson Administration, has within 18 months; completed the 25 mega schools and they are now up and running.

The Comrade Walton Liverpool led Bayelsa State Universal Basic Education Board is unlike its predecessors. This Board walks the talk. Of the 25 MEGA School projects, except 3 have not only been completed, they are up and running. A few of them had the contracts revoked because of the shoddy manner the contracts were executed and the nonchalant attitude of contractors.

The Board has lived up to expectation of Bayelsans. Now, Bayelsa SUBEB closely monitors contractors, school staff supervision, ensuring that school infrastructure is optimally utilized to achieve the goals of quality education and the policy of the National Policy on Education. The Board is also ensuring that teacher-student ratio is reduced as much as possible. The thrust of the Board is to ensure that students learn in a conducive environment, with well-equipped facilities such as libraries, laboratories and a highly motivated teacher force.

The fundamental aim is to make sure that Bayelsa State ranks among the highly educationally advantaged States in Nigeria. Bayelsa SUBEB under the leadership of the Executive Secretary is delivering quality education to Bayelsans. At the inception of the present SUBEB, Bayelsa was the third worst in terms of education and the worst in the South-South geopolitical zone. Now, Bayelsa ranks among the first 10 educationally advantaged States in Nigeria and the third best in the South-South. It was for this reason; Bayelsa SUBEB has won more than 7 awards from both local, State and national bodies- the last being the award conferred on the Board by the House of Representatives Committee on Rural Development. If the Board sustains the tempo, more accolades will come the way of the Comrade Liverpool led Board.

Idumange John
Senior Special Assistant to Governor Seriake Dickson on Research & Social Media

10/01/2015

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Articles by Idumange John