Governor Darius Ishaku has approved the employment of Fifty Nine casual staff of the College of Education, Zing.
In a brief ceremony which took place at the Government House, Jalingo, the Governor presented the new members of staff with employment letters into the State Civil Service.
Speaking during the presentation, the Governor stated that their employment was expedient since some of them had served the College for over five years.
He recalled that in the past, no casual staff was supposed to serve for more than six months before being integrated into the system.
The Governor urged them to put in their best for the upliftment of the institution emphasizing that the College of Education had remained top on his list. That he said accounted for its quick access to TETFUND.
In his remarks, Secretary to the State Government, Anthony Jellason encouraged the beneficiaries to put in their best to support the good intentions of Government.
He thanked Governor Darius Ishaku for his many developmental strides in the education sector and reiterated the resolve of the people of Zing to always support him.
Earlier, Provost of the College of Education, Zing, Mike Dio Jen who was represented by the Registrar, Martha Usman said they had come to the Government House to appreciate Governor Darius Ishaku for engaging casual staff of the Institution after many years of suffering.
The visit featured the presentation of appointment letters to the workers.
Deputy Governor Haruna Manu, Member Representing Karim, Ardo Kola and Lau Federal Constituency Danladi Baido, Head of Service, Simon Istifanus Angyu and many others were at the function.
The Former Minister of Defense, Lt. General Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma on Tuesday commissioned the N1.355bn International Model Government Secondary School and College of Preliminary and Remedial Studies in Takum Taraba State, built by the Victims Support Fund (VSF).
Commissioning the ultra-modern school in Takum, Danjuma who is the Chairman of Presidential Committee on Victims Support Fund (VSF) thanked the staff of the agency for approving the money for the remodeling of the school in his hometown.
According to him, the funds were raised by individuals, the private sector and the government during the tenure of former President Goodluck Jonathan who launched the funds raising efforts to alleviate the sufferings of the victims of terror in the north-east.
While recounting the trauma and challenges he faced in search of western education while growing up as a child Gen. Danjuma called on parents to ensure that their children are diligent in their studies so that the essence of establishing the school will not be in vain.
He charged the people of Taraba to take advantage of the school for the advancement of education in the state, even as he commended Governor Darius Ishaku for his vision in partnering VSF in remodeling the school to an international standard.
“I don’t know what the circumstances that led to the destruction of this school which we have remodeled and we are commissioning today, but whatever the circumstances were, I called on you to forgive your differences and give peace a chance.
“This school belongs to you and you must protect it. The fund was meant to alleviate the challenges faced by victims of terror.
“You are not directly affected, but you are benefiting from the fund, that is why I commend the committee for finding it worthy to bring the project to my hometown for the benefit of my people,” he said.
Governor Darius Ishaku in a remark thanked General TY Danjuma and the Victims Support Fund for the project, adding that the project was in line with his administration’s passion for educational development which he said has seen improvement in the performance of Taraba students in external examinations.
He thanked development Africa the agency that handled the construction of the project for delivering on a quality job within a record time and announced that the College of Preliminary and Remedial Studies will be manned by the Taraba State University in preparing students for advanced studies.
On his part, the Executive Director VSF Prof. Sunday Ocheche said the project which is the single largest project ever handled by VSF has 14 blocks of classrooms, Corps Members lodge, 5 blocks of staff quarters, an examination hall, a Dormitory blocks, Administrative block and Library among others.
Ochoche commended the state government for their support and partnership for the success of the project and urged the people of the state to take advantage of the project for the advancement of education in the state.
Earlier, Commissioner for Education Mr. Johannes Njigem said the commissioning of the project was a right step in the improvement of education in the state.
Njigem who lauded the Chairman of the Victim Support Fund Gen. TY Danjuma for his support in ensuring the remodeling of the school, noted that the state government has invested largely in education which has now placed Taraba first in the north-east in terms of performance in external examinations.
If many adults today had someone who could identify their innate abilities while they were younger, they would have been better off today. The Executive Governor of Taraba State, Arch. Darius Dickson Ishaku has stepped in once again, to support secondary school students of Taraba state in doing just that through the laudable vision of Mr. Tafida Wesley Godfrey, the CEO and Founder of “Achieve Your Dreams Initiative”. The event was declared open by the Commissioner of Education, Taraba state, on the 25th of August, 2018.
Here are some of the highlights of the program.
- The initiative brought participating students from various schools from where they currently are; confused, bored and trying to make sense of life, to where they ought to be. Most students now understand that instead of wasting much time watching films, chatting away or playing, they could invest most of their precious time doing something that will bring them closer to their life’s purpose.
- Taraba students who participated in the program now understand that a time should come in their life where they suddenly discover that they need to live life to the fullest by clearly stating why they are alive, then write a statement about it, otherwise called purpose statement.
Achieve Your Dreams Initiative
- Once they know why they are alive and what their life’s purpose is, they need to further analyze it by clearly identifying their unique stories, their gifts and talents, what they are curious about, what they dream to be in life and what they love doing over and over again without getting tired. These were illustrated through well told stories, interactive sessions, questions and answers and use of pictures.
- The students were not only taught how to find their purpose, they also clearly saw how everyone’s life’s purpose depends on their age bracket. For example, the life purpose of children from 1-9 years old will be different from those of teenagers, young adults, older adults and the elderly. In order words, a teenager could be asking about what they are good at while an adult could be asking about their most important priorities like marriage, job etc.
- Once they have discovered their life’s purpose based on their age bracket, the next thing is to use it by making a conscious effort to unlock their stories, talents, gifts, curiosity, dreams and passions. They were thoroughly exposed on how to unlock them.
- One practical and interesting aspect of the initiative was on how to achieve their dreams. It was easy to do as students were taken on a journey from how to dream big, which also involved using their power of imagination, believe in the dream, tell the dream to a trusted person, plan it, work it and enjoy it.
- Once a purpose has been fully established, the students were now taught how to go about achieving their purpose in life through goal setting. First of all, they need to make a firm and clear decision, write it down clearly and state a deadline for achieving the goal.
- Next, students were taken through tips on effectively using their current position to move towards their goals. Students were encouraged to be flexible in pursuing their life’s goals, to prevent being disappointed later in life.
- Once goals were clearly identified and written down, the next thing is to achieve these goals by following 9 practical steps. First of all, they identified current obstacles that could block them. This could either be finances, broken homes, distractions at home or school, peer pressure and the like. Next, they were told to make a list of the knowledge and people needed, then organize them into a plan, tackle the most important tasks while applying self-discipline and visualization.
- Finally, students were given refreshments during a 30 minutes break period, where they were also allowed to interface with experts based on the profession they wanted to become. They were given worksheets to fill in their purposes, goals and other briefs that helped them internalize the training and made the program successful for both the students and participating experts.
Taraba state will forever remain grateful to a leader who would not spare any opportunity to support, inspire, encourage and increase his people. God bless Gov. Ishaku and the CEO, Achieve Your Dream Initiative, Mr. Tafida Godfrey Wesley for giving our children what hundreds of thousands of other Nigerians are not getting.
Johannes Jigem is the Taraba state Commissioner of Education. He is supervising the education component of Gov. Ishaku’s ‘Rescue Mission’. In this interview with our reporter, he tells us about the giant strides of the administration in the education sector.
As this administration winds up, what can you say is the state of primary and secondary education in Taraba state compared to what it used to be in previous administrations?
Hon. Jigem: One of those things that would tell whether we are performing or not is when you look at our KPI, that is Key Performance Indicator. One of our KPIs is the performance of our students in external public exams. Our students are doing extremely well. Over the years, we have never gotten up to 50 percent.
Since this administration came to power, we have obtained a favourable level in our WAEC which we are using as yardstick. In NECO, in NABTEB, we are doing very well, but we are using WAEC as our baseline. When we came, we had 63.7 percent and we have been maintaining it. Notwithstanding all the crises we are going through; attacks here and there by unknown gunmen, we are still performing.
WAEC Office constructed, furnished and we’ll equipped by Gov. Ishaku’s Administration
The State government in collaboration with Taraba state University was able to establish the Faculty of Law and Faculty of Health Sciences. When we came on board, there was no WAEC office in Taraba state, we have been able to establish one as well as provide a utility vehicle and land for WAEC. We also made sure we got a marking centre in Taraba where ad-hoc staff would be employed from our schools to mark WAEC scripts.
This would build capacity in the staff that would be employed as well as a source of income. Also, 64 graduates of secondary schools were picked from the 16 local government areas and sent to Ogun state and trained in skills acquisition like carpentry, bricklaying, ICT, fashion design etc and he provided them with funds to start and I assure you these boys and girls are doing very well.
Of recent, another workshop was organised through the State University on Business Management for a week and after that he provided allowance. Also, he was able to bring together secretaries, principals in the 16 local education authorities for a train the trainers workshop. We also travelled for a workshop in Dubai UAE on strengthening and repositioning education in Taraba state. The participants were the commissioner, permanent secretary, directors, procurement officers, finance officers. It was quite encouraging.
Of recent we constituted our monitoring and evaluation committee to monitor and evaluate the system. Because of the challenge of shortage of teachers, the governor decided to employ 3000 teachers to bridge the manpower gap in our secondary schools.
Also, of recent he has carried out the renovation and construction of schools across the state. For example, the Mamara Government Secondary School Wukari (it is an exchange school for students from the 19 northern states); if you get there, you would appreciate the governor on the image of Taraba that he is selling outside. I also learnt (though unconfirmed) that Taraba is tops in education among the north east states.
The Taraba state University generates huge revenues from school fees, yet it complains a lot on funding. How are these revenues managed and does the Ministry have oversight on the institution?
Hon. Jigem: Thank you for that question. You know education is a bottomless pit. You collect all these monies, utilise it within the school and you still complain. All they collect in the school, they spend it. We can’t satisfy education. They are still demanding for more Faculties apart from those they have and to satisfy those demands you need money.
Is there proper oversight on the operations of the university by the Ministry?
Hon. Jigem: Yes, yes.. we monitor them. You know they have a Council whose responsibility it is to see how the university is been managed.
Investigations have shown that Taraba state students in tertiary institutions hardly benefit from the bursary like their counterparts in other states. Considering the Rescue Mission of Gov. Ishaku, what are you doing about the situation?
Hon. Jigem: When it comes to bursary, we are doing well to some extend. One, are you aware that all our medical students are paid monthly allowance? Secondly, at the beginning of the year, the government released money to the National Union of Taraba Students (NUTASS) and SA Student Affairs, to go round all the universities in Nigeria and get us the statistics. (Before you talk of bursary, you must know the number of students and the financial implication). We are still waiting for it.
What has happened to the Taraba state Scholarship Board; is it not its responsibility? Why delegating a students’ body to carry out that duty when we have the scholarship board?
Hon. Jigem: You see, atimes when you tell them that the scholarship board is doing the work, they would feel we are just playing over their intelligence. That is why we want everybody to be involved. That is why we involved the students union. The scholarship board is also part of that committee. We are still expecting them, if the financial implication is within the threshold of the governor, fine and good. If it is above our threshold, we will take it to the State House of Assembly for virement.
Is the State up to date on payment of UBEC Counterpart Fund?
Hon. Jigem: The government has paid over N2Billion and UBEC has acknowledged that and we hope the Federal Government would pay its own so that the state can embark on projects.
When you look round, you would discover several private schools springing up around the State, what is the Ministry doing to check the menace of unlicensed private schools in the State?
Hon. Jigem: I have directed the permanent secretary to constitute a committee to go round all the private schools in the State; those that have met our standards should be properly registered and those that have not met our standards should be closed. As schools resume in the next couple of weeks, we hope the committee would go into action.
Hon. Jigem. J, Commissioner of Education
Taraba state indigenes in tertiary institutions across the country would soon begin to benefit from bursary as a committee has already been set up to get statistics of Taraba students across the country and the financial implication.
This was disclosed to our reporter by The State Commissioner of Education, Johannes Jigem, during an exclusive interview in Jalingo Wednesday.
Jigem, who used the opportunity to list the achievements of the present administration in the education sector, also disclosed that medical students of Taraba origin were being paid monthly allowance already.
“The National Union of Taraba State Students (NUTASS) and S.A Student Affairs, would go round all the universities in Nigeria and get us the statistics. Before you talk of bursary, you must know the number of students and the financial implication; we are still waiting for it. If the financial implication is within the threshold of the governor, fine and good. If it is above our threshold, we would take it to the State Assembly for virement”, he hinted.
When asked why a student body would be given the responsibility of doing the work as against the State Scholarship Board, Jigem stated that the decision to use the student body was to carry everyone along and erase any doubts on the intention of government.
According to the Commissioner, the State had already paid over N2Billion as UBEC Counterpart Fund which was duly acknowledged by the commission and was awaiting the Federal Government to pay its own share so that projects could begin in the State.
He added that his Ministry had set up a committee to clampdown on unlicensed private schools in the State.
“I have directed the permanent secretary to constitute a committee to go round all the private schools in the State; those that have met our standards should be properly registered and those that have not met our standards should be closed. As schools resume, we hope the committee would go into action”, he pointed.