… harps on improved funding, teacher training, students bursary, ors

By Mfonobong Ukpong

The provision of better educational services for Akwa Ibom children can only be made right at the level of budgeting and further enhanced with approval of adequate funds for the running of the education sector in the state.

Speaker, Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Barr. Onofiok Luke made the observation on Wednesday when the Commissioner in the Ministry of Education, Barr. Victor Inoka defended the budgetary estimate of his ministry for the year, 2018.

Barr. Luke who expressed his concerns for an improvement in the educational sector in the state in 2018, said the proposed estimate projected by the Ministry of Education in the 2018 budget was ‘inadequate’. He made a case for the state college of Education in Afaha Nsit to run linkages programme in Education with the state owned university at Ikot Akpaden to enable the institution award degree programmes for students of the college. The Speaker who disclosed that he has benefitted from bursary in the past as a university student urged the Ministry of Education to revisit the matter and consider it necessary for the state government to award bursary to deserving Akwa Ibom students.

Luke who said he is passionate about the free education programme of the state government, assured of the readiness the legislature to ensuring its success. He also advised the Commissioner to consider the training and retraining of teachers through continuing education, and suggested that it would be proper for the College of Education in Afaha Nsit should commence affiliation programmes with Akwa Ibom State University, AKSU that would lead to the award of degree certificates to students of the college.

“I must do what I  can within my powers to ensure that we provide better educational services for our people. And we can only tall about those services from the point of budgeting and approvals that we have”.
“I came here today because two things are paramount to me. The free and compulsory education of government… I don’t know how you arrived at the total budgetary estimate of the Ministry of Education. I think that the proposal from your ministry is inadequate”

Defending his ministry’s budget before the House of Assembly Committee on Appropriation and Finance, the Commissioner for Education, Barr. Victor Inoka urged the committee to consider his ministry’s request to enable government achieve its set goals in the education sector in the 2018 fiscal year. He disclosed that the free and compulsory education programme of the state government was on course.

Chairman, House Committee on Appropriation and Finance, Hon. Usoro AkpanUsoh assured of the support of the committee to the successful implementation of the free and compulsory education programme of government.