What effort are you making to improve education?
Governor Samuel Ortom ensured the prolonged strike in Benue State University (BSU) was resolved. Other tertiary schools in the state like College of Education Katsina Ala, Uju and others will be improved. The College of Advance and Professional Studies (CAPS) is dilapidated and the 2016 Budget will address its rehabilitation as well.
For the first time, we will have N7.6 billion injected into primary education in the state in a year. We also want to train at least 10,000 primary school teachers and 6,000 secondary school teachers. We want to renovate at least 400 classrooms. We will build classrooms and furnish others. Ortom has said he wants to ensure that no Benue child sits on the floor to take classes. We will renovate 44 secondary schools in the 2016 Budget. The renovations would also include building laboratories, buying text books and other facilities. Many of our schools don’t have labs while there were no apparatus and chemicals in some. We have voted money for chemicals. We have voted N300 million to introduce e-learning in secondary schools so that when our graduands get to university, they will have sufficient knowledge of ICT. We are also introducing crowd funding to fund education in the state. Crowd funding will involve every Benue citizen. We want a situation where every citizen will have small role to play in upgrading education in the state. If you are a farmer and you give two tubers of yams for the benefit of the school in your community, you have contributed. If you are a civil servant and you make a small contribution in cash or kind to any school, it will be useful. We will soon launch the initiative. With that, there would be enough resources to pay teachers, train them and provide quality infrastructure. The governor believes in STEAM educational philosophy where Science is strong, Technology is strong, Engineering is strong and Arts and Mathematics are strong (STEAM). We will strengthen all these. We will invest in laboratories and technology incubation centers.
We will also work on the curriculum. We don’t have teachers now complaining of lack of payment. We also discovered there are too many teachers in urban areas while the rural areas don’t have many teachers. The state executive council has agreed that some teachers concentrated in the urban areas will be shifted to sub-urban areas. In some communities, you just have a principal and two teachers. I have directed the teachers’ board to ensure equitable distribution of teachers.