Plateau - The Plateau Government on Friday inaugurated an Area Education Secretariat at Mangu, Plateau, built with levies collected from secondary school students.
The state's Commissioner for Education, Mr Nanle Dashen, at a ceremony to inaugurate the secretariat, commended the initiators of the project.
The project for which all secondary school students in Mangu Local Government contributed N100 each, was initiated by the Zonal and Area Directorate of Education and the All Nigeria Conference of Principals of Secondary Schools (ANCOPS) in Mangu.
``I commend your initiative, drive and commitment in carrying out this project that has cost N9 million. I am highly delighted that you people were able to source for funds through the ANCOPSS Project levy.
``I strongly appreciate parents and guardians of our students for sharing in this vision of repositioning education demonstrated by their payment of the ANCOPSS Project levy for their wards and children.
``We are glad that people no longer wait for the government to do every thing for them,'' he said.
He urged staff of the Mangu Education Area Directorate, to jealously protect the building by imbibing maintenance culture and ensuring that the facility was used only for educational.
Dashen, however, regretted the protracted industrial action by primary school teachers in the state in the past four months over salary issues.
``I am not disputing the right of the staff to collectively bargain on issues that concern their welfare but caution must be taken not to throw away the baby with the bath water.
``Strike is counter-productive and we have just discovered that parents are withdrawing their wards from public schools, due to incessant strikes.''
He said that government had not closed its door to dialogue, appealing to the striking teachers to suspend the strike in the interest of the pupils.
Mrs Naomi Gomen, the Area Director of Education in Mangu, commended the Parent-Teachers Association, the Area Education Directorate in Mangu and ANCOPS for making the project a success.
Gomen, however, drew government's attention to the incessant complaints of shortage of teachers, especially in core subjects, appealing for more teachers be recruited.
The secretariat has a conference hall, 15 offices and five toilets.