We’ll not allow charlatans to ruin Benue education system – DG

Terna Francis

MAKURDI – Stakeholders in the education sector have been cautioned by the Benuean government that it will no longer put up with mediocrity, half-standards, inefficiency, laxity, and non-performance.

At a meeting with state stakeholders on education on Saturday in Makurdi, Mr. Terna Francis, Director-General (DG) of the Benue Education Quality Assurance Agency, made this statement.

Francis stated that the government’s commitment to guaranteeing the success, complete overhaul of the education sector, and complete automation of all procedures by 2025 made the warning necessary.

According to the DG, the agency was founded with the intention of spearheading changes and eliminating those who had undermined the education industry.

He said education remained the swiftest vehicle to societal development as such the sector would no longer be overlooked.

“It is this unchecked educational system without concomitant consideration for ethical content that has birthed the geometric progression in social vices such as examination malpractice, mediocrity and high crime rate in our society today.

“You will agree with me that there are charlatans parading themselves as proprietors of schools; offering half-baked education services thereby, truncating the recognized benefits of education to the Benue society.

“Many of these ‘schoolprenuers’ operate miracle centres for external examinations, maintaining few students from JSS 1 to SS2 but miraculously registering hundreds of students for WAEC and NECO in SS3,” Francis said.

He said that the Gov. Hyacinth Alia-led administration had taken urgent steps to rescue the education sector, which included the establishment of the agency.

He told the stakeholders that the agency would also ensure the application of technology in education.

“As an agency, we intend to fully automate school registration, enumeration, documentation and certification through a comprehensive school management portal.

“The portal will not only serve as a repository for our database but also, the only channel of exchange between education stakeholders and the agency, latest, by the year 2025.

“This will mean the total elimination of paperwork whether in forms, filing or evaluation.

“Additionally, we have put adequate measures in place to carry out recertification exercise for both private and public schools in the state.

“Apart from the data gathering rationale behind this exercise, it will also help us to know which school is up-to-date with the standard establishment guidelines and otherwise,’’ he said.

He said that those who were up-to-date would be issued a Certificate of Consent, designed with security features to fully operate.

Francis, however, said those who were not up-to-date, after the exercise, would be advised to upgrade within a specified period of time.

“Others that fall too low below the standard will be shut down and parents advised to transfer their children to only certified schools, depending on the degree of noncompliance,’’ he said.

He further said the agency would organise seminars, symposia and workshops at reasonable intervals in order to carry out continuous re-orientation of stakeholders.

He assured that the agency would be responsive and accessible to the educational needs of the average Benue person.

“We therefore invite all stakeholders, relevant groups and concerned individuals to put hands on deck as we work to salvage and reposition qualitative education in Benue.’’