Jonathan to deliver keynote address at Bayelsa Education Summit

Goodluck Jonathan, former president of Nigeria, will deliver the keynote address at the maiden Bayelsa State Education Summit, the summit organisers disclosed at a press conference in Yenagoa on Thursday.

The summit with the theme: ‘Optimising the delivery, performance and sustainability of outcomes in the education sector, is expected to proffer solutions to challenges in the education sector.

Gentle Emelah, Commissioner for Education, Bayelsa State, who is also chairman of the organising committee, said the summit has been conceptualised as “the cradle of the new Bayelsa education sector.”

Emelah said the summit, which will commence on February 7, 2022, will “produce forward-looking ideas and vision for the next 15 years in a relatable education plan and policy” in a short, medium and long term basis.

According to him, the Annual School Census reports in recent years identified the infrastructural needs in schools, the availability and quality of teachers, general enrolment numbers and the transition rates from primary to secondary schools.

Emelah said that though the state government has built new schools and is committed to building at least one technical school in each local government area, much still needed to be done, which necessitated the summit.

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“Laudable as these achievements and many more we are not able to list here for want of time, it is now clear that the substructure of the educational sector which lies in the plans, policies for pedagogical engagement and strategies of government would require proper evaluation and overhauling to meet with the needs of society as we gradually approach the half of the 21st Century”, the commissioner said.

He said the educational focus in the state has shifted to more of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET), Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and other approaches as society places greater emphasis on soft and hard skills as well as science and technology.

Emelah said they are building partnerships and collaborations with relevant agencies and organisations as the paradigm shift “would require the expertise of individuals, educationist, civil society organisations, institutions at the national, regional, continental and global levels to provide support and guidance.”

Also speaking, the technical adviser to the commissioner, Warmate Idikio said the summit has been on the drawing board for over a year and will help the government develop five-year short term, 10-year medium-term and 15-year long term plans for the education sector.

Idikio, who is also the Director-General of the Yenagoa Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (YECCIMA), disclosed that the summit is built around 10 themes while 44 papers cover every aspect of education will be presented at the weeklong event.