Governor Wike’s New Vision for Rivers State : A critical appraisal of the Education sector

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Governor Nyesom Ezebunwo Wike is a Rivers man in every ramification, having grown and schooled in Rivers State.

In politice also, Governor Wike is grass rooted and very versed in Nigerian politics.He was a Local Government Chairman for six years, Chief of Staff in Rotimi Amaechi’s government for about five years and Minister (junior/senior) for Education of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, for about four years

When Wike launched his BLUEPRINT for the development of Rivers State, in what is now known as the Rivers New Vision, not many people doubted his capacity to implement the blueprint as contained in the vision, more so, as he is expected to have better knowledge on the needs of the State, considering his exposure.

On .EDUCATION, Wike had stated thus :

 

The NEW VISION is of a knowledge-based society. Accordingly, we will give serious attention to       providing quality education for all. For this purpose, our government will Progressively improve the State’s budgetary allocation for the funding of education;
Ensure effective implementation of the Universal Basic Education scheme in the State, including giving priority attention to pre-primary and special needs education;
Renovate, adequately equip and staff all secondary, technical and vocational schools and provide them with basic educational resources and services;
Reintroduce boarding school system in public secondary schools;
Strengthen the inspectorate department to ensure regular monitoring of schools for greater accountability and efficiency;
Give priority attention to the training, retraining and the general welfare of teachers;
Motivate and reward teachers and school administrators who deliver genuine improvements in their schools;
Encourage private businesses to adopt schools as a corporate social responsibility;
Encourage a robust parental participation in school administration;
Encourage corporate organizations to fund research and innovation in the State-owned tertiary institutions;
Introduce a need-based scholarship scheme for brilliant students to study in local and foreign universities; and
Promptly pay bursaries to all Rivers State students in tertiary institutions.

 

As at the time of launching this BLUEPRINT, Wike was not sure of his second term in office as governor of Rivers State, so, he planed to implement these noble ideas within his four years term. Certainly, he knew of the likely fund that will come to the State within the period.

 

Governor Wike is in the sixth year of his EIGHT years two term and what is on ground in Rivers State as regards to EDUCATION, is a far cry from the BLUEPRINT. One may ask, what happened?

 

The primary education in Rivers State is in its worst condition as most of them, especially in the rural areas, has no infrastructure,no class room, no desk, leaking roofs, no toilet facility, absence of teachers. In most of the schools, no accadenic activity is going on due to insecurity to lives and properties of staff posted there.

 

The secondary schools are in the same condition. Destroyed class room structures. Leaking roofs,lack of toilet facilities, absence of teachers and insecurity.Over crowded class rooms as a teacher is meant to teach a single class of  between 100 and 150 pupils.No access to regular water supply, broken fences and unmotivated teachers.

 

Every year, over 1000 teachers retire from the service. This has caused the scarcity of teachers in the schools. The government has refused to employ new teachers. There is no scheme to train and retrain teachers for more productivity. Teachers are promoted on paper without a corresponding implementation of the promotions.

 

There seem to be no government policy on the education of Rivers State children.

 

It has taken the government more than three years  to reconstruct Rumuokuta Girls School, County Grammer School, Ahoada, Covernment Secondary School, Okarki and a host of others

 

Where lies the claimed SOCIAL CONTRACT with Rivers people ?

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