Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has reiterated government’s commitment to improved standards and structures in tertiary institutions run by the state.
Obaseki disclosed this when he received members of the Committee of Benin Elders, who paid him a courtesy visit at the Government House in Benin City, Edo State capital.
He said efforts are underway to revamp the existing structures at the colleges and universities owned by the state, noting “Edo South has remained educationally disadvantage. This is not because of lack of institutions but because of dearth of quality of education offered and the dilapidated structures in these tertiary institutions.
“We will continue to invest resources to fix standards and structures in these institutions of higher learning. We are addressing these problems first by focusing on basic education which is the foundation.”
Explaining the role of education in driving development, the governor said, “We cannot afford to play politics with the sector. Having institutions does not translate to quality education. For us, institutions should have impact on the lives of the students and society.”
“With our reforms, we will change the negative perception the global community has about this state, as a place with the highest number of trafficked persons, especially youths who are not interested in gaining an education,” he added.
He said the stigma is one of the signals of fundamental crack in the education system which government has vowed to fix by focusing on technical and vocational education. “The reconstruction of Benin Science and Technical College is ongoing to serve as facility, where youths can gain technical and vocation skills to prepare them to be employers of labour.”
“We have commenced reforms to promote quality education with basic education. This will tackle the challenges facing the education sector. We are reviewing the progress made so far with the pilot programme, in which we are training teachers from 300 schools in the state,” he added.
According to him, “The Abudu Teachers’ Training College, which produced the bulk of teachers in the region will be refurbished into a world-class centre to serve as a sub-regional training centre for quality teacher education.”
Secretary, Committee of Benin Elders, Prof. Sam Guobadia, commended the governor for his developmental strides in providing road infrastructure; promoting investment and job creation; facilitating agricultural development as well as developing the Gelegele Seaport.
He said the committee was concerned about the status of the Tayo Akpata University of Education, College of Agriculture, Iguoriakhi, the State Polytechnic, Usen and the School of Nursing, urging the governor to speed up the timeline for the reforms.