The Governor of Bayelsa State, Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson, has advocated a national consensus on the development of education in the country irrespective of political affiliations.
Dickson said that education was central to development and should command the attention of all key players.
The Governor spoke at a colloquium organised by the Government College Ughelli, Old Boys Association tagged ‘Raising a wise generation: Revamping Nigeria’ s Secondary Education’ in Lagos.
Dickson who recently was appointed as a co-chairman of the reconstituted Southern Governors’ Forum said that collective efforts of all stakeholders was required to tackle the issue of educational development.
According to him, the Southern Governor’s Forum had the intention to meet with its counterparts from other regions to give the deserved attention to education as a strategic response to the lack of investment in the sector which has resulted in instability, insecurity and unemployment and unemployability.
Dickson said that a consciousness of the pertinence of education to development was what inspired his administration to embark on the current revolution in the education sector in Bayelsa.
He stressed that his administration has built 14 functional boarding secondary schools in the eight local government areas of the state while efforts were ongoing to establish constituency boarding schools in the state.
Dickson, who said that his administration’s investment in education was paying off, added that it was the objective of the government to raise the number of students in boarding school to 10,000.
“For the first time we have over 14 public boarding schools built across the eight Local Government Areas in Bayelsa State, and we are working hard to establish more constituency boarding schools with the goal of raising a minimum of ten thousand students. So far, our investments in the education sector is visible to all.”
He said that the Ijaw National Academy which has a Briton, Mr. Charles Johnson, as its principal, was one of the free model boarding secondary schools which has over a thousand students selected through a competitive academic process.
The Governor noted that it was the preoccupation òf his administration to give quality and affordable education to Bayelsans especially at the grassroots level, through what he termed the ‘democratization of education.’
The governor also stressed that the Bayelsa State Government has already signed into law The Teacher Education and Certification Bill, which was critical to the education revolution.
The colloquium paraded an array of special guest speakers with high roller stature in Nigeria’s development, especially in the area of education. They include, Prof. Grace Alelle William’s, Governor Kashim Shetima, Senator Oluremi Tinubu and a host of other dignitaries.