Reps Laud Ayade Basic Education Policy

Cross River State SUBEB Chairman (L) leading Reps Basic Education Committee round projects sites for inspecttion. 
The Federal House of Representatives has lauded the Basic Education Policy of Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State.

This commendation was stated during a 2-day working visit of members of the House Committee on Basic Education to monitor the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) projects in the State.

The lawmakers said the achievements recorded in the Basic Education sub-sector and efforts geared towards improving the standard of education in the state by the Ayade's administration was commendable.

Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Istifanus Dung Gyang said one of the objectives of the exercise was to ensure that there is efficiency and effectiveness in the management and execution of government programmes and projects, as well as promote public accountability.

According Gyang, “we are here on one of the critical tripod functions of the National Assembly, which is the oversight function and the objective of this visit is to ensure compliance of MDAs by legislative intent as captured in the appropriation act. It is also an opportunity to evaluate programmes and projects performance implementation to check waste and ensure cost effectiveness.”

He said the committee will also focus on the utilization of counterpart funds under basic education.

“We are here to see what Cross River State has done so far with the counterpart funds you have assessed and to see how we can assist you to do more.”, he said.

Commending the governor’s efforts in providing counterpart funds  to enable the State access matching grant  for five years, he added that the "laudable gesture was highly commendable and goes to demonstrate the passion governor Ben Ayade has for basic eduction sub-sector".

According to him “we appreciate the passion of the governor in being up to date in  accessing the matching grants and deploying funds appropriately, some states are in arrears of over 2-4years, but what we have seen in Cross River State is different. We are impressed with what we have seen on ground, the standard of work is something that is commendable and exemplary. We have seen the investment in infrastructure, we have seen the customised plastic tables and chairs, the environment is conducive for learning,  so  we urge you to do more to develop the capacity of your teachers to enable them live up to their responsibilities ," He said.

Responding, the state SUBEB Chairman, Dr Stephen Odey, noted that the board through the instrumentality of the Governor has been able to access its matching grant from 2012-2015, and that of 2016 has also been accessed and awaiting procurement process.

“We came on board to take charge of this office based on the fact that governor Ben Ayade who is very passionate about education charged us to leave no stone unturned in improving basic education sector, when we came on board on October 12th, 2015 we discovered that Cross River State was unable to access its matching grant from 2012-2015, without hesitation His Excellency released funds to the Board and we were able to access the backlog of 2012-2015 matching grant.”

“Consequently, 237 projects were awarded in December 2016, 27 of those projects have been completed and handed over to the Board, 51,600 customized plastic tables and chairs have also been purchased and distributed, we have also tried to phase out the use of chalk boards by introducing magnetic boards through the purchase of 778 magnetic boards.

In order to boost our project monitoring team, we have been able to purchase 4 hilux vehicles and 1 prado jeep to enable us monitor projects. We are also working on a world class British-Canadian International Model school in Obudu and the groundbreaking ceremony will be done by the governor and the Executive Secretary of UBEC soon. ”

Reiterating that man power development is key in the transformation process of basic education, he informed that , the board in partnership with UBEC has also stepped up training for teachers,  and for the first time organised trainings for other SUBEB Staff, including the drivers.

Commending the governor for his continuous efforts in improving basic education in the State, Odey maintained that primary school teachers have been paid up to date.

He added that, due to the governor’s passion for the academic standard of pupils in the State, the board embarked on personnel audit exercise, which led to the discovery of about eight hundred and eighty-eight (888) ghost workers and about  one thousand, one hundred and twenty-five (1,125) teachers with fake certificates have been demoted accordingly .

"We in Cross River SUBEB work based on our action plan, we do not do anything outside what UBEC has approved for us. Once our action plan is approved by UBEC, our duty is to implement and that is exactly what we are doing, because we believe that anything that is worth doing is worth doing right", he said.

Some of the project sites visited include; Community Technical College, Ikot Effanga, Calabar Municipality, Army primary school , Akamkpa, Government Primary School, Odot Uyi, Odukpani, Government Primary school, Hawkins, Calabar south.

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