Cross River Educational Sector: A Look At CRUTECH And State Owned Secondary Schools BY PETER OGAR IKIBUNIM

In Breaking News, Education, National News, Opinion, Politics

peter ikibunim

It baffles me to agree that Cross River state is still an educationally less developed state given its history as one of the first colonial base in this country.

Colonialism brought many ills to the people it came to, yet in our forced government curriculum, our teachers thought us that one “advantage” of colonialism is “western education.”

Cross River state is home to many mission schools, an evidence that western education was actually handed down to us in abundance.

One is left to wonder why we are still backward in the educational hierarchy in the country. I hope the person who comes up as commissioner for education will head back to history and find the missing point in our educational growth that has kept us back.

Not only this, in our quest for tertiary education, we had our prestigious University of Calabar, the Polytechnic, Calabar, College of Education Akamkpa, as well as the Federal College of Education, Obudu.

While UNICAL served as the pinnacle in the educational hierarchy, the Polytechnic provided the needed technical education while our Colleges of Education satisfied our basic teacher needs, till the “unreasonable” closure of this schools by Donald Duke for the purpose of the formation of Cross River University of Technology – CRUTECH.

Now, whatever argument there was for this action was unreasonable just like his cancellation of NECO in the State as an acceptable SSCE examination.

What reason can be put forth, to close a Polytechnic, a renowned polytechnic for a University of Technology? Why not to open a fresh university of whatever name if you so desire?

Anyway, the bad deed is already done like most of his other projects, we the masses are currently suffering.

If anyone doubts the importance that polytechnic would have served and be serving, such a person should take a stroll to the Polytechnic in Gboko and see.

As it stands, Cross Riverians make up at least 60% of that school population under the harsh treatment of the indigenes. A stroll to Nasarawa State/Federal Polytechnic and the Akanu Ibiam Polytechnic will give us sufficient reason why the Donald Duke call for the scrapping of our schools was a very bad one.

Except I am to agree with the school of thought in my head that the elites don’t want the population to be educated. Back to CRUTECH, I haven’t seen the “technology” operating in the name as the school implies.

I think the law establishing this school is itself a limitation given the present agitation for the pursuit of various discipline in the university. We know that state of origin plays a vital role in securing admission in any university today.

UNICAL cannot take even a drop of the number of students seeking university education. CRUTECH as it is, runs limited courses. There are no social science courses in the university for instance, the courses in Art are very few and the same situation in the Medical Faculty.

Yet we complain of few lawyers/SANs, we complain of limited diplomats, we complain of few indigenous doctors and we all complain of lack of admission into higher institutions for our children.

I want to use this medium and call on the Governor and the House of Assembly to quickly look in the direction of CRUTECH if running this courses is hampered by the registration of the school as a university of technology, it will do us a lot of good if we have a “Cross River University” offering law, political science sociology, philosophy, economics, history and international relations, geography, banking and finance, insurance, journalism, medicine and surgery, pharmacy etc.

Let’s look at it from every aspect, while the creation of this departments will give access to the teeming students seeking admission, it will create employment for the qualified and move the state ahead.

I hear the governor is interested in job creation! Imagine what an up to date medical school will do for us. Another teaching hospital, another avenue for access to good health, another avenue for employment, another avenue for acquiring education, the list is positive and the effect is endless.

Yes we can. All that is needed is focus and commitment. A look at our secondary schools. Well I must give this to Donald Duke. He set a standard in the teachers qualification in Cross River state that is nearly not matched anywhere in the country.

It is of great interest to note that the teacher with the least qualification in any government owned secondary school in Cross River state has a degree or an equivalent. This is supposed to be wonderful.

I did a post graduate diploma in education in 2012 and I discovered the Ministry of Education is in a way forcing those without formal teachers’ qualification to get trained.

I took interest and discovered that nearly all the teachers came through NCE and now have degrees or more or those who did straight degrees or HND are routing for PGDE or more.

Many people I know who are teaching in our secondary schools have Masters degree. Yet it appears private schools with less man power and teachers with less experience and academic qualification are producing better students today than government secondary schools.

I have checked around some government schools, entered their labs and seen their libraries, compared their structures and viewed everything! I keep wondering! Its so surprising that principals send their kids to private schools.

Nearly all the teachers with the means do the same. We all have our choices. But I think it’s the lack of commitment from this teachers that make them not to truth their colleagues and as such can’t let them train their kids. Still thinking.

I however wish as my friend Onabe Edward stated, there should be a declaration of emergency in the education sector in Cross River state if we truly want this state to stand among the giants to be counted in the future.

We have all it takes to be the best in this country. I choose to be optimistic.

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