Bayelsa State Governor, Henry Seriake Dickson, has promised to institute an annual merit award in 2017 for deserving heads of primary and secondary schools, as well as administrators in public schools, who distinguish themselves in their various disciplines.
According to him, the measure was part of efforts to consolidate on investments in the education sector.
Dickson made the pronouncement on Thursday, when he hosted principals and vice principals of secondary schools to a state dinner at the Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha Memorial Banquet Hall, Government House, Yenagoa.
He charged them to see their jobs as a sacred calling to nurture young destinies to fruition.
While urging the Principals and their Vice to key into government’s vision for the education sector, he described them as the fulcrum that will drive the process.
The governor, who noted that, the problem of education in the state was monumental, expressed optimism that, with the implementation of programmes and projects in the sector, the vision for the development of the sector would be realised.
According to Governor Dickson, the new model schools have received facilities and urged all stakeholders in the education sector to sustain the current achievements, as education is crucial to driving the development of a people.
His words: “The results of the West African Senior School Certificate and other examinations are indications that, the investment in the sector are paying off and this is also due to the commitment of the principals and the teachers.
“This interaction is a new beginning for the education sector. My team is to provide resources to ensure that, the vision for education goes smoothly, as principals and vice principals, you are to drive the process.
“Facilities and equipment for the new model schools have been received by the schools and it is also very important to sustain the current achievements, because as critical stakeholders, you must key into the vision or else the achievements and vision for the sector will not work, as education is what drives the development of a people.
“The Government appreciates what you are doing. Let me tell you that, the government, who does not respect teachers, does not respect the future. Teachers act as guide to the future of pupils and students, because they teach, guide, counsel and create roadmap for the future of a nation.”
Governor Dickson further disclosed that, beginning from next year, the government would kick-start a programme for the training and re-training of teachers, as it was critical for updating the knowledge of teachers in their various areas of discipline.
In his welcome remarks, Commissioner for Education, Deacon Markson Fefegha explained that, Governor Dickson on assumption of duty, as governor in 2012, declared a state of emergency in education, given the falling standard of education and infrastructural decay in the state.
While noting that, the state government had invested about N33 billion on infrastructure and other facilities, he highlighted other efforts in the sector to include, provision of a school for teaching and learning of Izon language at Kaiama in Kolokuma/Opokuma local government area as well as provision of over 14,000 school uniforms and the relocation of BDGS to its original site.
Speaking, President of the Association of Nigeria Conference of Principals of Secondary Schools in the state, Mr. Abbey Ayibaemi River, expressed gratitude to Governor Dickson for hosting them and fulfilling his promises.