By Stephen Adeleye.
The Kogi State Government has commenced the screening and training of Enumerators and Supervisors for the conducts of the 2021/2022 and 2022/2023 Annual School Census (ASC) in the state.
The State’s Commissioner for Education Science and Technology, Hon. Wemi Jones, flagged off the screening and training programme on Friday at GYB Model Science School, Adankolo, Lokoja.
The Commissioner said Gov. Yahaya Bello, is so passionate about getting accurate and reliable school data for educational development in the state.
Jones commended the governor for providing all the needed resources and for giving his full support to ensure the success of the ASC exercise.
He urged the participants to put their best into the exercise so that at the end of the day they would all be proud of the expected results from the exercise.
”This is an exercise that is very dear to my heart because we have already set a standard upon which we want our education to run in Kogi State.
”We must take planning extremely serious which can only happen when we have accurate data to plan and work with.
”I am going be the chief supervisor of this exercise because the governor has reposed so much confidence in my capacity and capability, and I don’t want to let him down.
”I am very sure you are not going to let me down. You must make sure you do not disappoint me; you must be on the field to do the proper enumeration and supervision,” Jones said.
The Commissioner stressed the need to know the accurate number of schools and students across the state for effective planing, saying the exercise was extremely important.
He assured the National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS) that the exercise was not meant to witch-hunt their members, but to aid effective planing.
Jones stressed that the ASC was not intended to be an avenue for collecting more taxes from the private schools but for mutual benefits.
Jones explained that the exercise when completed would enable schools in the state to benefit from the World Bank assisted intervention program, known as ”Adolescent Girls Initiative for Learning and Empowerment (AGILE).
According to him, the intervention is a huge fund that if we get it, there is no aspect of education; basic and secondary, private or public that will not benefit from it.
He said that seven States were already benefitting from the largesse, saying Kogi State was lucky to be considered among the 11 additional States to be added.
”Please let us work as fast as we can and as accurate as we can to ensure that effective and accurate data are generated.
”I have made up my mind that by your support Kogi will be the biggest beneficiary of the AGILE fund.
”So, the earlier we are done the better,” the Commissioner said.
He, however noted that the Tablets’ device that would be given to them for the digital exercise is not their personal property, but should be returned back to the Ministry at the end of the exercise.
In their separate comments, the Chairman of Kogi State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Mr Suleiman Ndalaye; and the Director of Education Planing, Research and Statistics (EPRS), Dr Ahman Animoku, urged the participants to take the exercise very serious and ensure that accurate data was generated.
Dr Animoku noted that the Ministry, had on January 19, 2023, organised a sensitisation programme for education stakeholders in the state towards the 2021/2022 and 2022/2023 ASC exercise.
She disclosed that the ASC exercise has been digitalised and would commence on Monday February 20, 2023, warning that it would not be business as usual.
The representatives of other relevant stakeholders such as ANCOPSS, NAPPS, NUT, CSOs, who spoke at the event, assured the Ministry of their full support to ensure the success of the ASC exercise.