This may seem like another work of
your critics, but it’s not. I’ve watched with keen interest at how you are
pushing your “dakaada” agenda. It is immensely gratifying that at least you are
thinking in the direction of developing entrepreneurship and creative thinking.
Akwaibomites always hoped that one day its huge human potentials would be
tapped bringing about the much needed development of the state. Thank God you
came and have seen in that direction.
I am a keen supporter of your
“dakaada” philosophy, though I’ve not benefited yet. I love your creed. It is
worthy of note that you placed God first. You have since assumption of office
preached that it’s time we don’t wait on the state to do for us what we can do
for her. I agree totally. However I’ve had real fears about your desire to
change the landscape of the state from the reality of your actions.
Don’t get me wrong, you have made
impacts in different sectors of the state’s economy. You will certainly be
celebrated for your achievements in the coming years. I appreciate your
purposefulness at creating the AkwaIbom Entrepreneurship and Employment Scheme
AKEES. It’s a good creation especially in a state as ours with creative minds
yearning for the right atmosphere and support to pursue their dreams. You
support small startups with the hope that with time, the right knowledge and
investments, they could become big chip companies someday.
I write from the streets, I’ve
roamed in our cities and I’ve strayed across our countryside. I can certainly
assure you of the immense gratitude that many will give you when you leave
office if your programs continue to make the type of impact I hear it is
Is there any rule stating that there
should not be startups in the education sector? I have heard in certain
quarters about your purported plan to close down all private schools not duly
approved by the government. I presume it will be against your dakaada
initiative to tow this path.
Mr. Governor, you are very creative.
What value will you add to the economy by closing these schools? None. You will
only be sending hundreds of thousands of young people who depend on these
schools to the densely populated unemployment market that you are trying to
find solution to. You will also be sending some to their early graves.
Some of the big private schools we
celebrate today started as small schools. They were once unapproved but they
developed capacity over time and are today household names. We are aware
politicians are seizing on this market and are investing heavily into private
institutions, but not everyone has the finance to push into their projects like
Some of these schools you hope to
shut down are in certain levels in pursuit of their big dreams, to be approved
by government. They started out as under-tree lessons, then to one room, and
then progressively. I am certain they did not start where they currently are
and they will not end there. You will be killing progressive dreams with this
Mr. Governor, the problem with
education in the state isn’t one caused by the private schools. It is actually
the failure of government institutions of learning that have triggered the rise
of these schools. And sincerely, these schools do better than their government
counterparts because they have pedigree, trust and business to protect.
Government schools have nothing to protect. Teachers in Government institutions
are often lackadaisical except for a few God fearing ones.
Our government institutions are
hardly ever supervised as compare to the private institutions where government
inspectors and supervisors visit often because of the financial gain accrued
from the intimidation meted on these schools because they are not duly
approved. It is remarkable the type of efforts being put by these private
proprietors who hardly make profit at the end of the school year because of the
cost of keeping the schools going.
My personal findings have revealed
that these schools have become the immediate succor of at least 70% of
graduates who can’t get the big white collar job. Parents also find them as a
better option than the free education offered by government because of the
quality that they offer at a fare cost. The fact that the schools do not have
the resources to attain approval status does not mean their standards are
anyway lower than what government institutions offer.
This is not the right time to clamp
down on these schools. The dakaada philosopher needs them now than ever. Just
as you are working at developing entrepreneurs through AKEES, the managers of
these schools are also entrepreneurs. They need support. Government can offer
advisory activities that can help these schools meet up with the expectations
of government as well as pay the dues and tax expected by the government for
the development of the state.
It is great that the government is
trying to standardize the education system of our state. Education is the
platform for proactive greatness. No proprietor wants his school unapproved,
but they can’t help it because they have to work within their means.
I suggest that the government enacts
a 3 strata approval system with a fixed frame of time for which the approval
holds which could be lost if the school don’t get the next level of approval.
The current system while great, allows only those with so much capital to
undertake the process of approval.
Rather than intimidating these
schools, the government should develop a platform of contact. The Ministry of Education should from time to time interact with these schools through seminars
to help them become proficient in their book keeping and to guide them through
the process of approval. Many of these schools are often afraid to show their
faces at events because they fear they may risk being run down by government
officials. Government should welcome them with open hands and encourage them to
build their enterprise to the level the state yearns to have her academic
It is my hope that in few years the
state will be an academic destination of choice.
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