Abolish free education in colleges now – Prof. Imam tells Govt …As Principals end training in Owerri
Guest lecturer and Consultant to All Nigeria Confederation of Principal of Secondary Schools, (ANCOPSS) Professor Hauwa Imam has harped on the danger inherent in the over-all development of sound academic standards in public secondary schools in Nigeria, occasioned by lack of political will and genuine desire and commitment of the various State Governments in providing enabling environment and motivation that will propagate intellectual growth among principals, teachers and students.
Prof. Imam bared her mind at the International Conference Centre Owerri on Tuesday 22nd November 2016 during the inaugural lecture of the 2016 Mandatory Continuing Professional Training (MCPT) for principals drawn from Abia, Anambra, Ebony, Enugu and Imo States that constitute, South East Nigeria.
She advised the State Authorities to abrogate free education at secondary educational levels. She however enjoined them to offer free education to only the indigent and students with physical challenges. She suggested that moderate fees be charged in post primary schools so as to help provide motivation to teachers, principals and also facilitate infrastructure and the needful logistic support so as to enhance learning and teaching.
The guest lecturer, admonished the principals to strive to enhance quality in their schools via painstaking supervision; monitoring and implementation of curriculum. She advised various State Governments to shun rhetorics and lip service to education. According to her, politicization of the issue of free education at all levels without corresponding political will is antithecal to quality education.
In his address at the occasion, Nze Godwin Amaku, Imo State President of ANCOPPS posited that “Some of the major roles which ANCOPPS plays include, ensuring effective teaching and learning in schools, advising governments on matters concerning Secondary School education in Nigeria; Preparing students for higher education and useful living in the society; Provide forum for principals to interact and exchange views and ideas on how best to improve their skills and competencies.
Nze Amaku eulogized the State Governor, Owelle Rochas Anayo Okorocha for his giant strides in uplifting education and welfare of principals and teachers. He also praised the State government for ensuring sustenance of free education programme at all levels; rehabilitation and modernization of some secondary schools; building and opening of new School; supply of both Science and ICT equipment to some pilot Schools; regular payment of teachers salaries, payment of teachers running cost for the 1st term 2016/2017 school session and donation of a bus to each of the six Zonal Directors of schools to ensure effective monitoring and supervision of schools.
Nze Amaku solicited the support of the State Government towards building perimeter fencing of schools; conversion of Youth-Must-Work teachers to full- fledged teachers; rehabilitation of dilapidated School buildings; provision of modern Science laboratories and ICT facilities; payment of arrears of running cost; ensuring appointment of retired principals into Government Boards and parastatals; allocation of a parcel of land in the State capital for building of ANCOPSS State Secretariat; sponsorship of principals for National and Internal congresses; posting of able – bodied – Security men to work as permanent staff of schools and promotion of principal to salary grade level 17.
Highlight of the event was the presentation of certificates and awards to winners of quiz and essay completion among schools in the South-East.
The leader spoke to Chief George Eche moments after the event, According to him, the State government has excelled in providing free education at all levels with limited resources, He further postulated that the MCPT programme has salutary effect in equipping principals for better service delivery.
In a communiqué issued at the end of the 2016 M.C. P.T. Programme, the Principals recommended that a National Secondary Education Commission should be establish at the National level to oversee the activities of Secondary Education in Nigeria: the Federal and State Government should clearly define the level of free education in the Country given that Primary and Junior Secondary School are tuition free; government should test- run any envisaged change in curriculum before it goes into implementation and appointments of principals should be solely on merit and competence.
The 3-day conference with the theme “ Free Education In Nigeria Secondary Schools: Issues and Challenges”, was well attended by top brass personalities who include the State Governor, Rochas Okorocha represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Sir George Eche, Hon. Mrs. Gertrude Ego Oduka, Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Chief C.O.E. Chukwu, (SEMB Scribe), Nze Godwin Amaku, Imo State ANCOPSS President, Monsignor P. Amakiri, former National President of the Association and Chairman of the event, Lady Eke Judith, Princess Mgbeoji Rhoda, Dr. Mrs. Lizzy Ejiogu, Sir. Opara Eugene, Comrade A.E. Uzohu, Nwaogu Gabriel ,Engr. Napoleon Aniche, State NUT Chairman, Chief Ndubuisi Umezirike and Lady Ogechi Owums among others.