Govt. Committed To Constructing Schools Where They Are Needed – Ebie

We Cannot Compromise Provision Of Infrastructure – Okowa

DELTA State Governor, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa has said provision of infrastructure that will uplift the standard of living of the people cannot be compromised.

Speaking when he received on courtesy call, the General Manager of Nigeria Television Authority (NTA), Asaba, Governor Okowa disclosed that though the recession has affected virtually all sectors in the country, the provision of infrastructure must be sustained.

According to the Governor, “as a result of the country being in recession, a whole lot has been affected, but as a government, we will continue to do the best to provide quality infrastructure.”

“We appreciate your views about our programmes in the areas of infrastructure development, empowerment of our youths and fostering peace and unity in our state, we believe that we can do more in having a healthy people through the contributory health insurance scheme,” Governor Okowa said, reiterating, “we want to showcase to Nigerians that the health insurance scheme can actually work effectively in our country.”

The Governor who commended the NTA, Asaba for projecting the activities of his administration, observed that the state was peaceful because of effective collaboration between the Federal Government, the state and relevant stakeholder and assured that the peace would be sustained for necessary development and investment to take place in the state and the Niger Delta region.

“Under a peaceful atmosphere, our resources will improve,” he asserted.

Earlier, the General Manager of the NTA, Asaba, Mrs Omolara Olorode had lauded the giant strides Governor Okowa’s administration has recorded in different sectors of the economy, noting that empowering the youths to be entrepreneurs by the administration has distinguished it as that which has the interest of the future of the youths at heart.

 

No Effort Will Be Spared In The Funding, Upgrade Of Educational Facilities In Delta – Barr. Otuaro

The Delta State Government has expressed its irrevocable commitment in the funding of education and upgrade of educational facilities to world’s standard despite the economic downturn currently faced by the nation

The State Deputy Governor, Barr. Kingsley Otuaro stated this when he received the Minister of State for Education, Prof. Anthony Anwukah who led Executive Chairmen of States Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) from the 36 States of the Federation on a courtesy visit at Government House, Asaba.

Barr. Otuaro while welcoming the Minister, UBEC Executive Secretary and the Executive Chairmen of SUBEB from across the country to Asaba, the Delta State Capital for the 19th Quarterly meeting of the Universal Basic Education Commission hosted by Delta State, affirmed the State Government’s resolve to continue to invest in the educational sector which he described as the best legacy any administration will bequeath on the next generation.

The Deputy Governor who maintained that the State has made a giant leap educationally, said the establishment of several primary schools across the 25 Local Government Areas of the State was a testament of its commitment.

On the passage of the bill to enhance Technical Education in the State, Barr. Otuaro disclosed that three Technical Colleges has been renovated for the training and grooming of youths in vocational and technical education as part of the state government determination to revive technical education.

While wishing them a fruitful deliberation, the Deputy Governor expressed optimism that the outcome of their meeting will be for the betterment and advancement of the standard of education in the country.

Earlier, the Minister of State for Education, Prof. Anthony Anwukah who said they were in the State for the 19th Quarterly Meeting for Management and Executive Chairmen of State Universal Basic Education Boards to brainstorm and discuss on how best to improve on the operations of SUBEB in the country, commended the Delta State Government for its giant educational strides for enhancing the quality of education in the state from primary down to tertiary level.

Prof Anwukah while emphasizing on the high premium the Federal Government places on access to quality education especially at the foundation level, described education as the bedrock and catalyst for the development and advancement of a nation.

Why the EduMarshal Programme Was Unbundled By Dantes Odogwu.

The conceptualization of the Delta EduMarshal scheme, otherwise known as DEM under the erstwhile Dr. Emmanuel Ewetan Uduaghan Administration was nurtured by the then Executive Assistant on Education Matters to the former Governor – Ms Stella Blaize.

The entire idea was brewed out of her working experiences in the United Kingdom and her passion for children especially the disadvantaged in the society.

Her interest was kindled by the provisions of the Child Rights in the National Policy on Education and the Child Rights Law (CRL) particularly in Part III, sections 3-4,  which was domesticated by the Delta State Government.

The cardinal focus of the scheme was the eradication of street culture and entrenchment of learning culture amongst school going age children in the State. Hence, it was aimed at supporting the development and sustenance of Education related learning activities in young ones of school age.

Upon assumption of office of the present Administration vis-à-vis the harsh and challenging economic atmosphere, the Administration took a bold step at reviewing the activities,  its scheme components, service delivery platforms and authority chains of most ad hoc schemes of the previous regime amongst which was the EduMarshal scheme and found out as follows:

1-There was weak recruitment procedure applied in the engagement of the EduMarshal personnel;

2-There was no proper personnel certification and criteria for recruitment especially without the categorization of qualification(s) and professionalism;

3-The remunerations/stipends were highly unstructured without any scale known to either the public or civil service schemes;

4- The promotions/advancements of personnel were improper devoid of established criteria;

5 -Discipline and sundry issues were at the whims and caprices of the State Coordinator without recourse to any Institutional framework.

6- Most of the employees were largely Non Indigenes of Delta State and in most cases over – aged for public service engagement, hence, its ad hoc nature;

7- There were only Twenty-five professional Educationists in the scheme out of the One Hundred and Forty-nine (149) personnel engaged;

8- There were perceived challenges/gaps in the system structure and operations;

9- The term of engagement was ad hoc, subject to annual renewal (where deemed necessary by Government).

It is also worthy of note that the engagement of the EduMarshal’s was on annual contractual basis (Renewable where necessary) as indicated in the terms of engagement in the offer letters;

The EduMarshal were neither Political Appointees nor public servants as the salaries were paid from a pooled fund;

Upon disengagement and or determination of the scheme, the personnel are not entitled to any form of severance(s);

The services of the EduMarshal’s were neither through the Civil Service Commission nor Local Government Service Commission;

The appointments were non pensionable and nonpolitical;

The services of any EduMarshal personnel could be terminated at any point in time (where necessary) especially if it borders on misconduct or the will/discretion of Government.

Sequel to the above, the Delta State Government directed the Ministry of Basic & Secondary Education to execute the unbundling processes with a view to fusing the scheme’s activities/functions (where necessary) into the institutional schedules of the Ministry.

Therefore, it is imperative to note that the decision to unbundle the EduMarshal was taken by the government of Delta State in the overall interest of Deltans.

Gov Okowa remains committed to providing basic infrastructure and manpower needs of educational institutions and his administration will continue to give priority to children’s welfare through provision of quality education and moral uprightness.

Thank you.

NOUN Study Centres Complementing Delta’s SMART Agenda BY Sam Duvwode/ Theophilus Uzih.

THE Delta State Government has said that it will continue to place much premium on education, saying that education is power, which is the dynamic ability to cause change.

The Delta State Acting Governor, Barr. Kingsley Otuaro, who stated this at the foundation laying and fund raising ceremony of the permanent site of the National Open University Of Nigeria (NOUN), Emevor Study Centre, Emevor in Isoko North Local Government Area of Delta State, said that the NOUN study centre at Emevor is very apt and complementary to the state government’s SMART Agenda.

Otuaro, said that the foundation laying ceremony of NOUN, Emevor study centre was a square peg in a square hole in the direction of enhancing education, which fits into the SMART Agenda that has been the compass of the government in pivoting its policies and programmes.

The Acting Governor, while laying the foundation, assured that government will monitor the fruition of the programme, adding that government will liaise with the committee to furnish them with its gesture in due course.

While personally supporting the project with the sum of N2 million, the Acting Governor said that the dynamics of a contemporary society actually requires conscious monitoring and mentoring, through guardians’ efforts.

According to him; “the effort of guardians can only be achieved through education, which is the best legacy we can give to our young ones. We are in an era where societies are evolving speedily and we need the instrumentality, the agencies of education to shape and guide the dynamics as it were,” he said.

While saying that government will do all in its power to give the project the best support, he assured the people that he will relate their message to the governor as regard the deplorable state of the road in Emevor town, noting that the road if repaired will add sufficient value to the development of the town.

In an address, the Vice-Chancellor, NOUN, Prof. Abdalla Uba Adamu, noted that the laying of the foundation of the permanent site was a great testimony to the high premium which the people of Emevor placed on education and the depth of their willingness to commit their resources to the realisation of their aspiration.

Prof. Adamu noted that within a period of three years (2014-2017) the student population of the centre has grown exponentially from the initial figure of 150 to over 1, 287 students. He added that the Emevor Study Centre is one of the flagships of the university community study centre network.

While noting that the authority and control rest ultimately with the university management located at the headquarters in Abuja, Prof. Adamu assured that NOUN will continue to give maximum support to the centre, it will be assisted to grow and improve in all ramifications.

The President-General of Emevor kingdom, Sir Moses Agboro, in a welcome address, said that the building to be constructed will have 16 rooms, including some halls which has been modestly estimated to cost about N128, 000 million could be He appealed to all and sundry to donate generously to the laudable project.

According to the president general, no investment is better than investment put in the educational sector, that will guarantee better living standards and prosperity for all, saying that the study centre will not only benefit Emevor students, but will also be of benefit to other students from surrounding communities and across the country.

The Chairman of the occasion, Chief Iduh Amadhe, who said the study centre will enhance the educational advancement of the community, challenged the people to support the building of NOUN study centre, saying that their collective commitment will bring their desired aspirations to fruition.

Chief Amadhe, while calling on all Isoko sons and daughters in positions of authority to speak with one voice, appealed to the state government to repair the road in the town leading to the permanent site of the study centre.

The highpoint of the occasion was the foundation laying of the NOUN permanent site study centre by the Delta State Acting Governor, Barr. Kingsley Otuaro amid various cash and material donations from notable sons and daughters, as well as various development unions from Emevor, both at home and in Diaspora.

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Education Development: DTSG To Synergise With Corporate Organizations, Individuals

The Delta State Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, Mr Chiedu Ebie has stressed the need for continuous synergy between the State Government, Corporate Organizations and Private Individuals in the Development and Growth of the Educational Sector of the State.

The Commissioner stated this while commissioning an Ultra-Modern Science Laboratory Complex built by StarDeep Water Petroleum Limited (a Chevron Company) and it’s Co-Venturers in the Agbami Field for Alaka Grammar School, Ozoro.

Mr Ebie, emphasized that the Delta State Government places a very high premium on education, hence it was committing huge resources in developing infrastructures across the various schools in the state, despite the economic challenges of the present times.

He stated that the State Government would continue to encourage Public Private Partnership in the Educational Sector as government could not do it alone in developing and equipping the schools.

“this was why the State Government through the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education had come up with an initiative known as the Support A School Programme where Corporate Organizations and Private Individuals can support any school of their choice with projects that will sustain and improve the quality of education” the Commissioner said.

Mr. Ebie lauded StarDeep Water Petroleum Company and its co-venturers for partnering with the Delta State Government in providing a conducive learning environment in schools they have intervened in, even as he called on other corporate organizations doing business in the state to join hands with the State Government to move the Educational Sector forward.

He appreciated and acknowledged the role played by the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon Leo Ogor in supporting and attracting projects to Alaka Grammar School and called on the school authorities and community to ensure that the facilities are put into good use, maintained and safe from vandalism and theft.

In his remarks, the Director of StarDeep Water Petroleum Limited, Mr Richard Kennedy represented by Mr Daniel Agbofodun said the provision of a modern laboratory complex for Alaka Grammar School, was a resolve of the Agbami Field partners to help improve the availability and affordability of quality Education to Nigerians and through this means, they were able to give back to the host communities.

He thanked the State Government for the support they enjoyed in the implementation of the project and assured them of Chevron’s support at all times.

 

 

DTSG Restates Commitment to Providing Healthcare Services

The Delta State Government has assured Deltans on the determination of the Okowa administration to return Delta State University Teaching Hospital, Oghara (DELSUTH) to those glorious days when it successfully carried out kidney transplant on patients thereby stemming health tourism.

The Delta State Commissioner for Health Dr. Nicholas Azinge gave the assurance yesterday in his office when members of the Kidney Care Association, Delta State Chapter paid him a courtesy visit.

He said Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa is a listening Governor and as a medical Doctor is very much concerned in meeting his campaign promises of providing healthcare services for all Deltans.

The Commissioner said that the death of Deltans due to inability to access kidney transplant care and the procurement of medicines are not acceptable and will do all within his power to address the problem.

He posited that sensitization and enlightenment campaigns are very important in checking the rise of kidney related disease and hence his ministry will partner with the Association in this regard.

Commissioner Azinge called for more coordinated disease screening activities for better coverage adding that screening for kidney will be given the importance placed on the screening for High blood pressure.

Earlier, the Chairman of the Association Pastor Robinson Odega listed the aims and objectives of the Association to include the creation of a forum to know each other, create awareness and enlighten the public on the need for a healthy lifestyle in a bid to preventing kidney disease and failure, create a data bank which will help government to know and possibly assist kidney patients amongst others.

He said they came to intimate government on their plight and the financial burden their members face in sourcing for funds to maintain their transplanted kidneys which have become too heavy for their immediate families to bear alone due to the high cost of purchasing dollars in the Nigerian money market adding that it costs nothing less than N2.5m to sustain a kidney patient for a year.

Pastor Odega revealed that their Association has before now been able to educate the public through radio and television broadcasts and news commentaries on the need to adopt healthy lifestyles to prevent the disease.

He pleaded with government to extend the privileges it gives to HIV/AIDs, Tuberculosis and other related disease through its provision of drugs for them free.

Pastor Odega said that in the past the State Government used to assist kidney patients financially while travelling for medical checkup and the purchase of their drugs and therefore pleaded for government’s assistance in any way it could to alleviate their plight.

 

 

Team SMART And Quality Education For Young Deltans

EDUCATION is the most potent tool of changing the world and proper education is the bedrock of any true and successful society- ¬Anonymous

The world is constantly changing and all of its sectors and institutions are in an endless flux and dynamics. Evidently, what hitherto constituted leadership, economy, business and even human relations have notably changed; thus, proper education is needed, especially by the younger generation upon whom the great future lies, to effectively manage this change to the advantage of humanity.

It was in an apparent recognition of this invaluable value of education that the Governor Ifeanyi Okowa-led administration rode on the crest of the prosperity for all Deltans mantra with an alluring five point agenda that was ostensibly codenamed the “SMART Agenda”.

In its general value, the Okowa SMART Agenda seeks to birth a veritable road map that will lead the oil rich Delta State to the path of sustainable development and visible prosperity where every Deltan will be a proud Chief Executive Officer of his or her own enterprise and, in the long run, contribute immensely to the development and growth o f the state.

To realise this dream that had been hitherto thought impossible and perceived by some naysayers as a white elephant project, the Governor Okowa administration has successfully repositioned the state technical colleges at Sapele, Ofagbe and Agbor, upgraded the state polytechnics at Ozoro, Ogwashi-Uku and Otefe, just as the state government-owned university campuses at Abraka, Oleh and Asaba have received some redefining touches.

Besides, a due slant has been shifted to what should constitute the quality of education in all schools in the state following Governor Okowa’s consistent charge on school authorities to focus on the task of bequeathing practical knowledge and skills to students as against the conventional and counter-productive focus on paper qualifications.

All these feats have proven the determination spirit in the prosperity Governor and portrayed him as a public administrator who is bent on delivering other gains of democracy to Deltans who gave him an overwhelming support at the keenly contested 2015 gubernatorial polls.

Nonetheless, besides the huge efforts of Governor Okowa at rebranding the educational sector, the Team SMART for Okowa, a socio-political group that has been making concerted efforts to spread activities of the Okowa administration and build a pan-Deltan consensus in favour of Governor Okowa ahead of the 2019 electoral race, recently made a sincere and laudable move to complement and consolidate on the gains of the Okowa’s government in the education sector.

By nature, the Team SMART for Okowa is comprised of Deltans who have resolved to contribute their intellectual and material resources towards the translation of the SMART Agenda into a lofty reality that Deltans will always remember with true feelings of satisfaction. Apart from showcasing the successes of Okowa’s government, the team has also evolved various empowerment initiatives, including the Green SMART Agricultural initiative, SMART Digital Awareness, SMART Knowledge Development and the SMART Multi-Purpose Cooperative Society (MPCS) programmes.

While the other initiatives have been in progress, the SMART Knowledge Development initiative recently took a positive twist with the constitution of the Okowa Education Committee which was saddled with the responsibility of organising free extra-mural lectures for all young Deltans in Junior Secondary School two and three and Senior Secondary School two and three levels.

Led by the Special Assistant to Governor Okowa on Community Development, Hon. Sunny Obi, the Okowa Education Committee perfected all arrangements concerning the programme and commenced the free lecture tagged “Okowa Free Lesson” about two weeks ago with a centre at Osadenis High School and Uzoigwe Primary School both in Asaba, the state capital city.

The programme was officially flagged-off at a remarkably brief ceremony that was attended by eminent Deltans, including the Delta State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Nicholas Azinge, his Special Duties, Government House counterpart, Hon. Henry Sakpra, the Head of Service in the state, Mr. Reginald Bayoko and representatives of the Oshimili South Local Government Council Chairman, Barr. Chuks Obusom and the Senior Political Adviser to Governor Okowa, Chief Festus Ochonogor, among others.

In his speech, the Director-General of Team SMART for Okowa, Hon. Sunny Orishedere disclosed that the scheme is being jointly sponsored by the Team SMART Board of Trustees and philanthropic individuals, adding that though the Okowa Free Lesson was attended by about 400 students at its inception, the growing population of its beneficiaries has risen to 1,025 students at the point of the flag-off ceremony.

Pointing out the multiplier effects of the scheme, Orishedere who has guided Team SMART through the thick and thin, said the initiative will complement the education enhancement efforts of the state government, deter students from indulging in vices and reduce the academic burden of parents who may not be able to afford the monetary demand of such qualitative extra-moral lessons being offered at no cost in the Okowa free Lesson.

“It is pertinent to mention that a survey carried out indicates that these children across the state need help to reposition and redirect their mindset if they are to develop as leaders of tomorrow. We are running this programme alongside with the Computer Based Test (CBT) Appreciation Programme that will prepare them for the use of computers during examinations.

“We therefore appeal to the sponsors of this programme not to be weary because God knows that children are dire need of this help that you are giving to them. Your support to one child has helped three persons; that is, the child, his or her parents and his or her brother/sister”, the Director General said.

He assured that the Okowa Free Lesson will be sustained and spread to other parts of the state in few weeks’ time, commending all the sons and daughters of Oshimili South Local Government Area who have supported the scheme in their domain. While flagging-off the programme, Hon. Sakpra who was visibly impressed by the initiative, doffed his hat for the leadership and entire membership of Team SMART, noting that when the programme was initiated, “no one knew that it will get to this giant stage”. He described the programmed as “laudable”, particularly as it puts children from poor backgrounds into consideration.

Dr. Azinge who also made a brief remark recalled how he had attended a similar free extra-moral lesson some years while he was still at the basic stage of his education, urging the students to make a judicious use of the opportunity to improve on themselves.

He commended Team SMART for embarking on a people-oriented project, promising to support the scheme as much as possible.

On his part, Mr. Bayoko said he was “grateful to God for witnessing the occasion”, observing that his support for the programme comes on a double foundation. He challenged the students to reciprocate The good gesture of Team SMART by exploring the opportunity to its fullest and excelling in their academic pursuit.

Chief Ochonogor who was represented at event described the Okowa Free Lesson as a sincere effort to deliver the gains of democracy to young Deltans, regretting that many politicians are guilty of abandoning their campaign promises after they are voted into power.

Speaking to journalists, Hon. Sunny Obi, the Chairman of the Okowa Education Committee, explained that the programme is aimed at assisting Deltans who are preparing for certificate examinations to excel, adding that it will place the state on a higher academic pedestal in the committee of others in Nigeria.

A high point of the ceremony was the inspection of the various classrooms by the commissioners and other guests who admonished the students to be studious and determined in their academic career. Some of the students who spoke with journalists commended Governor Ifeanyi Okowa and the leadership of Team SMART for directly incorporating them into their programmes, claiming that they have never had it as good as they are having it now.

BY JOSHUA ERUBAMI

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DTSG Reiterates its Commitment to Providing Welfare Package for Students of Delta State Origin – Ologe

Delta State Government has reiterated its commitment towards providing good welfare package for hard working Delta students across the state and in diaspora through the State Scholarship and Bursary Board.

The Executive Secretary, Delta State Scholarship and Bursary Board, Comrade Elijah Ologe stated this while playing host to members of the Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), Delta State Council in his office in Asaba.

Comrade Ologe revealed that 156 families and 285 applicants have so far benefited from the Scholarship for Children of deceased Civil Servants while noting that about 50 PhD, three M.sc and 19 undergraduate students have benefitted from the internal and local Scholarship Scheme.

He maintained that the Board would not entertain any favouritism in the dispense of scholarship, stressing that the criteria for accessing the scholarship scheme is based only on merit even as he disclosed that the State Government, despite the economic hardship had disbursed the 2015/2016 bursary to the students of the State origin.

The Executive Secretary explained the various schemes of the Board to include, the Bursary Scheme, Scholarship for Children of deceased Civil Servants, Internal and Local Students Scholarship, Overseas Scholarship, Scholarship for law students, Scholarship for people living with disabilities as well as First class Scholarship, even as he stated that the present economic crunch in the country has put a temporary stop to the First Class Scholarship Scheme, and that the scheme will be back to life as soon as the economic situation of the State improves.

Ologe commended women and the Fourth Estate of the Realm for their unique role in information dissemination in the society, noting that their role brought about democracy in the country.

The Bursary boss, commended the women journalists for the sensitization of students in secondary schools across the State against social vices through its FRITH club, also called on them not to relent in their task of disseminating factual and objective information to the public, even as he promised to partner with the Association through its FRITH Club in promoting educating the girl child and the younger generation.

Earlier the Chairman of the Association, Comrade Pat Gbemudu, while thanking the Executive Secretary for the various activities of the Board in assisting students of Delta State origin through the disbursement of scholarship, assured him of the Association’s co-operation towards ensuring that the public would be properly informed of the activities and procedures of assessing the various schemes of the Board.