… Calls for improvement in education sector
…Idongesit Etiebet, Udom Inoyo, others bag awards
By Imó Etim
Clement Isong foundation( CIF), on Tuesday 7th December, 2021 organized education stakeholders summit in Uyo to commemorate 2021 International Students’ Day.
The education stakeholders summit which was held at the conference room of Ibom E- Library in Uyo with the theme; Rethinking Education for State Development: People, Planet, Prosperity and Peace attracted an array of stakeholders in the education sector and other sectors to brainstorm and foster better ways of improving education in the State and Nigeria at large.
Professor Akpan Hogan Ekpo, former Vice Chancellor of the University of Uyo and Chairman Board of Trustees of Clement Isong Foundation while speaking on the occasion said the occasion was to honour the students and to remind everyone the need to invest more in education and manpower development.
He said ” I stand as one who has headed a tertiary institution to tell you that no country makes headway without manpower development.
“The countries we all admire today, the United States, United Kingdom, Germany and the rest do not play with education, especially public education.”
The economic scholar further stated that countries like the United States felt they were lagging behind in education, as such, were doing something to catch up with countries like China, United Kingdom, hence we in the third world countries should be left with no choice but to raise our stakes in education.
Mr Udom Inoyo, Chairman of the event and Advisor of Inoyo Toro Foundation represented by Dr Enobong Joshua spoke on the role of the Inoyo Toro Foundation in helping to maintain a high level of education in the state for 14 years now.
Joshua stated that the Inoyo Toro foundation had well over 100 professors who are volunteers in the schools mentoring programme in line with one of the foundation’s goal of ensuring students are well mentored aside from the supports awarded to over 2000 teachers to motivate them through the teachers and principals reward schemes set up to reward better administrations of schools and outstanding teaching practices.
Mr Inoyo shed light on the Akwa Ibom State Think Tank On Education, the education roadmap from 2020 to 2030, highlighting and commending the Akwa Ibom state government for adopting all the 17 initiatives brought forward by the think tank, one of which is the perimeter fencing of public schools in the State.
Comrade Ini Ememobong, State Commissioner for Information, extolled and celebrated the memories of late Chief Clement Isong for leading the Central Bank of Nigeria and preserving the currencies of Nigeria in war times, further describing him as a man who loved and supported education.
The State Information boss, urged Nigeria to emulate the models adopted by the United Kingdom, Rwanda and Egypt in prioritising education and selling it to the world. He noted that if education is prioritised, it would result in better living and economy of the State and Nigeria at large.
Highlights of the event were Keynote speech by Akanimo Odon who joined virtually from London and spoke on the need to reposition the Nigerian education sector to discourage education tourism as such was growing the economy of the other countries.
The panel discussion had Prof. Eta Bassey, Prof Umoren, Prof. Hillary Inyang and comrade Moses Itaketo who spoke on ways to make education work in Nigeria.
The panel identified obsolete curriculum, poor funding of education in the national budget, distance between teachers accommodation and the schools, poor infrastructure, insufficient and non technically knowledgeable teachers as some of the bottlenecks responsible for the decline in education sector and its inability to compete favourably with that of developed countries.
Award of excellence performance was given to the State Commissioner for Education Mrs Idongesit Etiebet who was represented by Mrs Roseline Akpan, and Mr Inoyo which Dr Enobong Joshua received on his behalf for Inoyo Toro Foundation.
A cheque of N50,000 was awarded to Mr Anietie Elijah from Faculty of Education, Akwa Ibom state University for emerging with a Cumulative Grade Point Average ( CGPA) of 4.75 by the organizers of the event, Clement Isong Foundation.
Wife of the late Clement Isong, Obongawan Nne Isong and vice President of BoT, CIF, his son Barr Isong, Prof Chris Ekong, Dean, faculty of Economics University of Uyo, Students, renowned scholars amongst others graced the event.
The duo of Ima Dem and David Elijah co-hosted the event.