Lawrence Nemi

NDCBP Presents Research Findings to Rivers State Commissioner of Education… Promises Partnership

After a three week long field research by the Niger Delta Citizens and Budget Platform and its volunteers into the state of primary education in Rivers state, findings have been presented to the state Commissioner of Education, Dame Alice Lawrence-Nemi. The research was aimed at understanding the impact of recent government reforms in the sector of primary education and its functionality and applicability. 20 researchers visited all primary schools in, Port Harcourt City, Bonny, Oyigbo, Degema and Ahaoda West local government areas, conducted interviews with teachers and parents, captured GPS locations of all primary schools and collected other relevant data including number of pupils and enrolment.
While noting the positive transformation which has been recorded in the sector of primary education, the research identified key challenges in the implementation of the state’s education policy which if not checked, could mar the achievements recorded. The findings were presented in a briefing note under the title, Fulfilling the Promise to the Rivers state Education Commissioner at a meeting in the Ministry of Education.
In her reaction, the Commissioner observed that the details of the findings indicate that the team had done a thorough job in identifying the gaps and expressed her appreciation for the effort of the NDCBP. She tasked the Platform to go further in supporting the Ministry’s effort by researching and articulating possible solutions to the issues identified. In his comment, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education said the challenges which had been identified by the research were also of great concern to the Ministry, and that effortshad been made to address some of them. He equally pledged the full support of the Ministry for the Platform to find workable solutions to some of the problems.
In his reaction, Coordinator of the Niger Delta Citizens and Budget Platform, Ken Henshaw said based on the request of the Ministry, further research will be carried out, this time with the aim of arriving at solutions.
The challenges the research highlights include the non-usage of the essential elements of model schools like sick bays, computer rooms and libraries, low completion rate of model schools in rural areas, displacement of pupils occasioned by the demolition of schools in order to build model schools and the continued charging of sundry fees despite the state’s policy on free education amongst others.