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The A.R.I.S.E. Agenda education model of Governor Umo Eno led-administration in Akwa Ibom State has been proffered as a ready solution to Nigeria’s education sector challenges as it captures basic education as a guaranteed roadmap to achieving the Sustainable Development Goal 4.
The State Governor, Pastor Umo Eno, made the recommendation while declaring open the National Basic Education in Nigeria Bootcamp, BEN-B Summit, tagged “Improving Access to Inclusive Quality Education for All Children in Nigeria: Towards Achieving SDG4”, at Ibom Icon Hotel, Uyo.
Governor Eno who welcomed the team to the State, thanked the Ministry of Education for the choice of Akwa Ibom for the 2023 BEN-B Summit, describing the State as a fertile ground not just for agriculture but incubation of ideas, innovations and creativity which are basic ingredients for growing the education sector.
“On behalf of the Government and People of Akwa Ibom State, I welcome the Honourable Minister of States for education and other stake holders who are here. I wish you a successful deliberation and happy stay in our dear State.
” As part of our ARISE Agenda, we have taken education very seriously, and we look at the issue that is being discussed today, “Improving access to inclusive education for all children in Nigeria towards achieving SDG4.”
He expressed optimism that Nigeria’s dream and vision of Education would be achieved through the Federal Ministry of Education’s initiative.
Impressed with the attention given to basic education at the early stage of President Tinubu led-Federal Government, the governor postulated that Basic Education is fundamental and the real bedrock of education, maintaining that if the nation gets education right at the basic level, it will get it right for the rest of the days of the children.
The governor stated that the ARISE Agenda have supported and will continue to support creative ideas, while placing premium on basic education, as demonstrated in the hosting of the maiden “Made in Akwa Ibom Trade Fair” which showcased the entrepreneurial endowment of the people and intentional remodelling of primary schools as well as provision of basic needs of pupils.
Sharing findings that guided the crafting of the A.R.I.S.E Agenda with the summit, Governor Eno said amid the passion to improve basic education, his team discovered that environmental conditions can encouraged school attendance and learning among children.
He stressed that a situation where some wear good shoes and good uniforms to school while some of them do not have creates some level of imbalance and intimidation.
These, he said, fueled his resolve to build model primary schools where teachers will return back to live in the school compound, create a conducive environment, provide books, uniforms, shoes for our children and as much as possible create a level playing field where all of them together will be endeared to go to school and compete on the same level.
“That is the basic Education that we need in the 21st century and if we get education right, its ripple effect will splash in other sectors.
“When I was campaigning for office, we looked at creating inclusivity for our children and carried out an assessment. What we discovered was that we are still bringing children in the 21st century to study in the classrooms that were build before their grand parents were born. The environment was not just acceptable. They come into the very battered and scattered classes that nothing is working and some even sit on the floor then you expect a better results?
“No one wants to go to a classroom where people will boo at them. So these are all the things we found out. That’s why we felt we should start with Basic Education as the bedrock.
“So first of all, we’re creating model primary schools, make the classrooms such that they can have access to modern facilities, where our children will understand what projectors and computers are, give them uniforms, shoes, a football field for recreational activities. Get the teachers, they will be excited and grow from there to be useful in the society.”
The Minister of State for Education, Dr. Yusuf Sununu on his part commended Governor Umo Eno for accepting to host the event at short notice and for the warm hospitality they team has enjoyed in the state.
The Minister posited that in spite of the significant development strides in the country’s education sector, the large number of out of school children remains unacceptable, calling on all hands to stay on deck in the national resolve to confront the negative statistics the nation is labelled with.
He reaffirmed that the administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu was committed to creative policies and ideas that will take education in the Country to enviable heights, affirming that with aptness of the theme of the Summit, no challenges of the sector will be insurmountable.
He therefore called on stakeholders, Federal, state, local authorities, and the private sector to collaborate towards an aggressive and intensive enrollment drive as part of efforts towards the eradication of the out of school children phenomenal in the country.
Dr Sununu said the National target was to reduce the number of out of school children by at least a quota in the next two years.
According to Dr Sununu, commitment and team work by stakeholders were critical elements needed to eradicate the phenomena.