By Aplefe Ojong
A total sum N1.9 billion has been expended by the outgoing administration of Senator Liyel Imoke as scholarship awards to 5,362 indigenes of Cross River state.
The outgoing Commissioner for Education, Professor Offiong Offiong who disclosed this during the end of tenure ministerial press briefing at the Ernest Etim Bassey Press Centre, Calabar, on Monday, also explained that about N830.9 million has been expended on the payment of WAEC and SSCE examinations fees and N77.4million for technical students who sat for NABTEB examinations in the state from 2007-2015.
He disclosed further that 60 secondary schools were renovated and four standard laboratories were furnished and equipped for each of the 60 schools, while a total of 17,998 dual desks and 1,750 teacher’s tables/chairs were provided, as well as 60 sets of 5.5KVA generating plants procured to power the ICT laboratories in the schools.
Offiong stated further that 18 additional secondary schools were constructed to take care of the increasing number of enrolment from 93,149 in 2007 to 143,644, increasing the secondary schools in the state from 248 to 265 by 2015, and that enrollment for technical schools increased from 8,563 to 13,800.
Prof. Offiong said that at the primary school level, 17 additional schools were established in the inaccessible communities, taking the numbers of schools from 1016 in 2007 to 1033 in 2015, and that enrollment has equally increased from 223,200 in 2007 to 295,973 in 2015 representing 32.47 percent increment, just as the problem of causing our pupils to read and write at primary four has equally been solved with some children now able to read and write at primary two.
He said UBE intervention has increased classrooms from 6,113 to 9,689; 300 schools renovated, while 1,245 teachers have been retrained under the primary school teachers professional development program, stressing that Cross River was the first state in Nigeria to introduce Placement Examination to check transition from primary (middle basic) to junior secondary (upper basic).
The outgoing Commissioner for education explained that programs offered by CRUTECH increased from 23 in 2007 to 39 in 2015, and that in the Adult and non-formal education program, the literacy rate has moved up from 70 percent in 2007 to 87 in 2015 and that in 2012, the National Commission for Mass Literacy, Adult and Non-formal Education (NMEC) commended the state for being among the seven best states in Nigeria.
Offiong further stated that the Imoke administration also recorded remarkable achievements in the education sector through the re-establishment of the College of Education, Akamkpa, establishment of the Institute of Technology and Management, Ugep, renovations of the Divisional Libraries at Ikom and Ogoja, printing and distribution of quality textbooks to students at a very reduced price, institutionalization of E-learning/Digital education in the school system, among others.
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