By Florence Ugbem
Benue State Commissioner for Education and Knowledge Management, Dr. Frederick Ikyaan has stressed the need to identify areas in the education sector in need of intervention in a bid to revamp the sector.
The Commissioner stated this Thursday and Friday when he interfaced with various Heads of Tertiary institutions in the state at the Conference Hall of the ministry.
Dr. Ikyaa reiterated that it would no longer be business as usual as the Governor Alia-led administration is poised towards addressing the challenges facing the various tertiary institutions in the state.
“The briefing is meant to give us an insight into the affairs of the institutions, their challenges and ideas of the way forward so that the governor can respond. It is time for us to rise and bring our education to where it ought to be, it is not going to be ritual as usual but the education sector will be revamped”, he said.
The Commissioner noted that he will not hesitate to pay visits to tertiary institutions in the state where the need arose, adding that every information given about institutions should be accurate and the challenges identified to strategize on the way forward and restore the education sector in the state.
The Rector Akawe Torkula Polytechnic, Makurdi Prof. Barnabas Anger while briefing the commissioner enumerated the challenges facing the institution, which include: none accreditation of courses which has hindered the school from approaching TETFUND for funding and the inability to certify courses in the institution.
He lamented the internal problems ranging from insecurity due to no perimeter fence which has resulted in encroachment by the host communities into the school premises, lack of water supply, no functional vehicle, the need for accommodation for staff and students to the high cost of school fees which has led to dwindling student population.
The Rector, Akperan Orshi Polytechnic, Yandev, Dr. Simon Iorchor, in his briefing to the commissioner lamented the level of dilapidation in the institution which, he said, needed urgent attention. He called for employment to fill in the existing gaps, stating that there had been no employment in the last ten years in the institution.
Dr. Iorchor called for quick intervention to facilitate the accreditation of programmes in the institution, restoration of power supply, upgrade of the library and release of funds for solar power station for the hatchery, and the feed mill.
Also speaking, the Rector, Benue State Polytechnic Ugbokolo, Dr. Nathaniel Oche, lamented the shortage of staff and stressed the need for employment. He also decried lack of power supply, poor road network and drainages within the institution.
The Provost, College of Education, Oju, Dr Sunday Edo lamented the high cost of school fees which has resulted in dwindling population and called for closure of illegal colleges of education across the state.
He lamented the 50 per cent remittance to BIRS which has hindered progress in the institution and called for a reduction in the percentage remitted. He also called for employment.
Similarly, the Acting Provost, College of Education, Katsina-Ala, Dr. Maurice Tyokever commended TETfund for providing infrastructure in the institution and called for reduction in school fees for the college. He pleaded for approval to be given for employment to fill in the existing gaps as well as rehabilitation of structures in the college.
In his remarks, the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Mr. Agbo Ochekpe called on the new administration to give the needed attention to the institutions, saying it is a new dawn for the education sector in the state. He urged them to put in their best as they carry out their duties.