The Delta State government has debunked claims and rumours making the rounds that the state government has re-introduced tuition fees for the 2015/2016 academic session, which started on Monday, even as it stressed that any move in tha direction can only be made after an education summit of all stake-holders in the state, to determine the way forward in the education sector
Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, Barr. Chiedu Ebie, who made these disclosures in a press briefing with newsmen in Asaba, noted that, while there will be erring Principals who may opt to circumvent this directive, the state government is very firm on its decision not to introduce fees and any Principal found violating this directive will be dealt with, even as he assured that the claim of introduction of fees was totally false and baseless.
Ebie said that the administration of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa was a responsive and responsible government that is poised to serve the people, adding that one of the key areas of focus of the administration is education and in doing so, its sole mission is the gradual and steady recovery of the standard of education in the state.
The commissioner said: “Since we are not a state government has government of quick fixes or “hit and miss”, we will take our time to properly understand the issues and problems by the acquisition of accurate and verifiable baseline data of our entire primary and post primary educational assets.”
Speaking further, Ebie said that plans were under way to revive the very popular schools sports and re-establish the football tournament amongst secondary schools, and while assuring, through his Special Assistant, Dr. Azinge, that History and Geography were still part of the school curriculum as a part of a new cluster of subjects, affirmed that the Delta State Minsitry of Education, was fine tuning plans to package a new curriculum for the Education sector in the state.
He further lamented the high ratio in secondary schools, of students to teachers in places like Ughelli and Asaba, and while attributing this to fallout of the high school fees introduced with the hand over of schools to the missions by the government, assured that the situation was being addressed and a standardized and globally accepted ratio would be achieved very soon, even as he was quick to point out that the Education Marshalls have not been scrapped and government was presently looking at ways to make them more effective in delivering on the mandate that set them up in the first place.
Barr. Ebie then stressed the desire of the state government to give prime attention to technical education, which was still paramount with the rehabilitation of three technical schools in the three senatorial zones, and noted that the technical assistance of the world bank in the rehabilitation of technical schools has been factored into the activities of the state government in order to avoid duplication of projects and initiatives in the rehabilitation effort.