By Stephen Adeleye
The Kogi State Government on Tuesday unveiled the Kogi State Education Law 2020, that will guide the operations of schools and activities of other relevant education stakeholders in the state.
The Kogi State Education Law 2020 was unveiled at the ‘Stakeholders’ Meeting On Education Law And Other Matter”, on Tuesday in Lokoja.
In his remarks, the state’s Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Hon. Wemi Jones, FCIB, thanked all the stakeholders for the roles played in ensuring that the law came into reality.
He noted that the education stakeholders’ meeting was in continuation of the various levels of stakeholders engagement that the ministry had planned to do.
He said that the education friendly Governor, His Excellency Alhaji Yahaya Bello, had given the Ministry his full backing for the full implementation of every section of the law.
”Today, we have met with the highest category of education stakeholders in the state. So, we are now fully ready to commence full implementation because we have carried everybody along”, he said.
The Commissioner also stressed the need to take the issue of schools’ security very seriously, and need for synergy among stakeholders to ensure adequate security in schools.
He eulogised the Governor for being very proactive in all sectors especially in the area of security, which had made Kogi one of the safest States in Nigeria.
”We thank God no single student has been kidnapped in Kogi, but we must not take it for granted. We must redouble our effort, synergise and ensure adequate security in our schools”, he said.
Jones further advised against examination malpractice, cultism, and misconducts in any form, warning that the State Government was fully ready to severely sanction any erring school, individual or their accomplices.
He specifically warned schools’ Principals against any form of exam malpractice in their various schools, saying any erring principal would be severely sanctioned.
He added: ”It is the responsibility of principals to ensure that no examination malpractice is perpetrated in their various schools. We are going to pay special attention to ‘Miracle Centres’ ”.
He noted that the ministry had done data capturing of Private schools operating in the state, adding that public schools’ data capturing would soon commence.
He advised private schools that were yet to come to the ministry for data capturing to do so in earnest, warning that such schools would be sanctioned according to the relevant sections of the education law 2020.
”For those private schools’ owners who are yet to come for data capturing, we are going to open another window next week about three to four days for them to come and register.
”’If they fail to do the needful within the four days, I am afraid we may be left with no option than to sanction them depending on the relevant sections of the law which may include closure of certain schools”, he said.
He commended the stakeholders for the massive turnout, saying it was very impressive.
Stakeholders at the meeting included: Heads of all Public and Private Tertiary Institutions in the state, SUBEB, STETSCOM, ANCOPSS, NAPPS, NTI, NYSC, TRCN, WAEC, NECO, JAMB, Religious bodies, TUC, ASUSS, among others.
Some of the stakeholders in their separate comments, commended the Governor for his political will in accenting to the Kogi State Education Law 2020, since the state’s creation about 30 years ago.
They further commended the Commissioner for his efforts and commitment in ensuring the realization of the law, and urged him to ensure its full implementation without fear or favour.
Mr Awodi Robert Yusufu, the State President of All Nigeria Conference of Principals of Secondary Schools (ANCOPPS), Kogi chapter, said the law would put education in Kogi on its pedestal and help in policing making, curb exam practice, among others.
On their parts, Comrade Ojo Ranti, the State Chairman of Academic Staff Union of Secondary Schools (ASUSS); and Dr Solomon Nuhu Anyegwu, the Provost, College of Health, Sciences and Technology, Idah, both called for the perimeter fencing of schools to ensure security.
Ojo, who doubles as the State Chairman of Trade Union Congress (TUC), commended the state government for the education law, 20 per cent annual budget to education, and prompt payment of salaries to state workers.
He, however called on the State Government for the recruitment of more teachers, end percentage payment of salaries to Local Government workers and implement the minimum wage in the state.
Also speaking, the Rector of Kogi State Polytechnic, Dr Usman Igbo, commended the Governor for performing excellently in the area of security and for giving them the necessary support to curb cultism and other social vices in various higher institutions in the state.
He explained that under his leadership the management of Kogi Poly had been able to put necessary things in place to curb cultism, exam malpractice, and other misconducts through adequate synergy with security agencies and other relevant stakeholders.
He said that the institution had expelled over 150 students from the school due to various offences such as cultism, exam malpractice and other misconducts, irrespective of tribes or religions.
The rector, therefore commended the Commissioner for the education law and called for its full implementation without fear or favour.
The highlight of the occasion was the unveiling and launching of the Kogi State Education Law 2020, anchored by Dr Gabriel Ottah, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Education, Science and Technology.