Benue Government has re-trained 10,000 primary school teachers and 6,000 secondary school teachers to enhance the quality of education in public schools in the state.
Prof. Dennis Ityavyar, Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Benue, made this known on Thursday in Makurdi while giving his ministry’s score card in the past one year.
According to him, government will support the original missionary schools taken over by the government with N500 million to enable the proprietors to execute necessary repairs.
The commissioner said government would soon release a white paper on the return of missionary schools to their original owners.
Ityavyar blamed government takeover for the decline in standards of the affected schools, saying the academic programmes of the schools had been truncated by the action.
The commissioner recalled with nostalgia the academic prowess of the students nurtured by the missionary schools in the past, saying that government’s move would provide the enabling environment for the schools to regain their lost glory.
Ityavyar said arrangements had been concluded for the transfer of the schools for the purpose of restoring their lost academic glory.
The professor recalled how he received his tutelage as a pupil in well funded public schools and pledged to restore that glory.
The commissioner also warned that all illegal schools in the state will be shut down.
He said, “illegal schools have become an epidemic, we are compiling an encyclopedia of these illegal schools and will partner traditional rulers in combating the menace”.
He explained that students from the affected schools would be transferred to the government schools.
The commissioner also indicated plans to make Benue Peoples Education Agency fund public schools, saying a consultant is already handling the project with an initial target of N10 million in the first quarter.
According to him, education is too precious to be toyed with; we will do everything to ensure high quality education in the state and also make it affordable to our people.
He said the government was also partnering with the Mathematical Centre, Abuja, to open a branch in the state with a view to promoting the subject among students.
The commissioner described Mathematics as “the gateway to the sciences”, saying that the current administration places high premium on science and technology.
“We are planning to hold mathematics workshops in each of the three senatorial zones of the state to strengthen the study of science and applied technology,” he said.