Cross River State has flagged-off the distribution of ten thousand laptop computers to teachers in the E-learning and Digital Literacy Programme in secondary schools across the State.
Speaking while presenting the computers at West African People’s Institute (WAPI) Calabar, the State Acting Governor, Mr. Efiok Cobham, said the program is in line with the State’s quest to transform its educational system and bequeath a worthy legacy to posterity as well as achieve a service economy.
Cobham reasoned that the gesture was borne out of the state’s desire to belong to the league of nations that have got it right in educational revolution and transformation because according to him, any nation that neglects education will remain perpetually under-developed.
The Acting Governor disclosed that it was because of the high premium which the State places on education that a great part of its budget is allocated to the sector.
He disclosed that the dream of Cross River State to become a leading Nigerian state will remain elusive if it does not recognize and accord education a top priority and that is why since the inception of the present administration in 2007, the government has been striving to provide an enabling environment to enhance proper learning and teaching.
According to him, “armed with resolution, we plunged into comprehensive renovation of schools where sixty secondary schools in Phase 1 were renovated and brought to a standard where conducive environment can actually be said to have been created for teaching and learning to take place”.
He explained that four laboratories for the basic sciences, namely, Physics, Biology, Chemistry and Computer science have been equipped with state-of –the-art equipment in all the schools while the processes for the award of contract for the second phase comprising additional 41 schools have commenced.
The Acting Governor maintained that to ensure effective learning and teaching in schools, the State has to adopt the global practice of using technology to drive education and the best way to start is to begin with the teachers who are the drivers of the system.
Cobham said this informed the conception and implementation of the Teachers Computer Acquisition Program (T-CAP), adding that it is hoped that if teachers acquire their personal computers and are trained on their use alongside the educational software installed into them, teaching and learning will be made easier.
Commissioner for Education, Prof. Offiong E. Offiong, noted that teachers occupy a very prominent position in their vital role as moulders of the children who are the leaders of tomorrow and as the drivers of the digital literacy policy in the school system, it becomes imperative for the teachers to first be made to acquire ICT skills and then step down same to the children in schools.
Offiong said the laptops, though personal are meant to facilitate their acquisition of ICT skills for their benefit as individuals and that of the school system.
He remarked that all the schools have been grouped into forty eight clusters for the purpose of distributing the laptops across the State while training on the use of the laptops will commence in about two weeks’ time and will run in phases.
Some of the beneficiaries like Mrs. Ruth Eneobong of Girls Secondary School Akim, Ogboaka Thomas of WAPI and Omong Elias Akan of Special Education, appreciated the State Government in its effort to empower them as well as using them as components of its developmental program.
They promised to use the laptops for the purpose which they are meant for.
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