Mrs Rosemary Osikoya, the Kogi Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, has said that the state was among the five new states that receiveed support on education from the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF).
Osikoya made this disclosure at a meeting she held with the state government’s appointees and other stakeholders in education, toward the 2018/2019 Annual School Census (ASC) on Friday in Lokoja.
She described as laudable the commitment of Gov. Yahaya Bello to education reform in the state through the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, stressing that the effort was beginning to yield good results.
”From a sad state of abandonment, Kogi State education sector is now harnessing external support from UNICEF.
”We have received correspondence from UNICEF that Kogi State is among the five new states including Nassarawa, Imo, Edo and Ekiti to receive support from UNICEF on education.
”Support received included the ‘instruments’ for the conduct of 2019 Annual School Census (ASC), and support for education sector planning process in 2019″.
She lauded the state governor and all stakeholders who had supported the cause since January 2018, noting that “it is encouraging that our painstaking efforts are now yielding good results”.
The commissioner said the 2019 ASC would begin from April 15 to 19, and called on the school owners, managers and head teachers to make themselves available in their various schools during the period.
She decried the low compliance by schools in the 2018 ASC, where more than 25,000 questionnaires were distributed and only about 3,000 were returned for processing.
Osikoya, therefore, advised all schools operating in the state, to as a matter of urgency, visit the ministry’s website (moest.kg.gov.ng) to upload their schools’ records on or before Friday April 19.
”Any school that fails to update their records on or before April 19, will be regarded as illegal school. All private schools operating in Kogi are also required to renew their licences annually,” she said.
She said that provision had been made in the 2019 budget for the shutting down of all illegal schools operating across the length and breadth of the state.
The commissioner also set up an ad hoc committee made up of political appointees, ministry’s desk officers, education secretaries and other stakeholders to ensure the success of the school census.
According to Osikoya, the committee members are to monitor and ensure that effective and accurate data is obtained from all schools in their respective local government areas.
The commissioner said that students’ enrollment, dropouts, teachers’ nominal roll, structures among others, would be the key indicators to look out for during the census.
”It will also help to get the actual number of teachers on government’s payroll, as six billion naira is expended on teachers’ salaries annually, according to Kogi Teaching Service Commission (TSC)’s report.
”The 2019 school census is going to be a holistic team work from all stakeholders in the state in order to get accurate data for effective education planning,” Osikoya added.