28 March 2006

Nigeria: Ebonyi Ready for 9-3-4 Education System - SUBEB Chief

Abakaliki — Chairman, Ebonyi State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Chief Austin Edeze, has said the state is ready to take-off with the new educational curriculum of 9-3-4 system, as contained in the Universal Basic Education Act, which has abolished common entrance examination to secondary schools.

Speaking to reporters in Abakaliki yesterday, after receiving members of the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), who were in the state for the Seventh council meeting of the commission, Edeze said pupils in primary schools will now transit to junior secondary schools and continue for another three years of education, which makes it nine years of basic education.

At the end of the first nine years, students' performance would determine whether he would move on to senior secondary school and from there to university, or he would drop and go into a vocation, using the skills he has acquired during the basic education, which involves entrepreneurial education.

Edeze said since Governor Sam Egwu's administration, adopted education as the pivot of its developmental policy, a lot of infrastructure and facilities have been provided in the primary and secondary school system that the state would not find it difficult to transit from the current system.

"The restructuring of the curriculum is what matters and what we are bringing in in Ebonyi State is a curriculum that will make children functional, that is why we are beginning to partner with the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

"In fact, they are currently studying our education programme, studying our occupational disposition, with a view to coming up with a programme we call entrepreneurship education in Ebonyi State," Edeze said.

He said the entrepreneurship education, apart from equipping the learner with vocational skills, would also offer the state the opportunity of having more vocational and technical schools that would produce those who create jobs instead of job seekers.

Chairman of Ebonyi SUBEB lamented that the quality of education has generally deteriorated in Nigeria and that is why it is important that teachers must be involved in capacity enhancement, which involves training and re-training programme so that their mind would be updated on knew knowledge and ideas.

In this regard, the Board has signed memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Faculty of Education, Ebonyi State University and National Teachers Institute (NTI), where about 3,500 teachers would be re-trained, remarking that this would be a continuous process with the objective that the quality of teachers would be improved, as there is gap between the educational certificate obtained and the knowledge in the minds of those who owned the certificate, since the continued fall of education in Nigeria.

"The poor quality of the products of our educational institutions has demanded that we must have continual training and re-training, which will give the teachers what they have failed to acquire when they were in school. What we are having presently, I can tell you, there is a gap between their (teachers) papers and themselves," he added.

The Ebonyi SUBEB boss expressed gratitude to UBEC for choosing Ebonyi state to host their 7th council meeting, saying that it was a great honor for the state, since this is the first time the Commission is holding her council meeting outside Abuja.

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