“We as a Board want to remain relevant hence the need to gather to learn to be more productive. We hold a very key office in Bayelsa’s Education Sector which has assigned us the role of upgrading and uplifting education in the state and if we are to function optimally, we must be ready to unlearn out-of-date techniques and keep up with the current trends in education to continue to be relevant as a Board”.
These were the words of Dr Alice Atuwo, Executive Secretary, Bayelsa Education Development Trust Fund as she declared open the three-day workshop for members and staff of the Board. The workshop with the theme Modern Trends in Leadership, Governance and Accountability held from Tuesday 10th to Thursday 12th May 2022 at Leadwort Hotel, Port Harcourt in Rivers State.
According to Dr. Atuwo, The Bayelsa State Education Trust Development Fund Board, EDTFB was inaugurated in 2017 with the primary aim of generating funds for the general upgrading of education in the state with specific objectives. She listed some of the objectives to include: Provision of adequate teaching/learning materials for schools, Provision for vocational training and skills acquisition, Provision for adequate infrastructure for educational institutions under the control and management of the State, Provision of bursary/scholarship for the benefit of indigenes of the state, Provision of any other, infrastructure or programme or project appertaining to the enhancement, upgrading or development of the educational sector in the State. According to the Executive Secretary, the Board has over the years, made commendable efforts towardsbecoming a world class educational intervention Agency driven by stakeholder participation and contribution for sustainable and enhanced standard of education employing best practice. The former Permanent Secretary concluded by adding that the Board will continue to contribute to the establishment of a functional, sustainable and competitive educational system in the State for the production of highly capable manpower.
In his opening remarks, Director-General and Chief Executive Officer of National Institute for Educational Planning and Administration (NIEPA Nigeria) Ondo, Professor Olivet Jagusah mni appreciated the EDTF Board for always patronizing NIEPA to execute its capacity development needs. He also commended the Executive Secretary for setting the pace by not enlisting the services of quacks as some would do. He assured the Board value for their money and re-emphasized the mandate of NIEPA to build and develop a critical mass of educational sector planners and managers for the efficient running of the education sector. Prof. Jagusah noted that the theme of the workshop is in line with his efforts to see that education continues despite pandemics and insecurity in the country. He further explained that it is important to keep up with current trends in education since they determine what is currently accepted to be the best way to manage educational institutions. By keeping up with modern trends, you will constantly be learning new tools, new events to participate in and new ways to be efficient. This will give you a wider variety of things to work with, therefore, you will be able to experiment with more things and use them to generate new ideas, he said.
There were also goodwill messages from members of the board who attended the programme. Notable amongst them are; High Chief Fidelis Agbiki, a former press secretary to seven different Governors in Rivers and Bayelsa States respectively, Engineer Tobias James, a former commissioner of education in Bayelsa state and Professor Francis Sikoki.
The 3-day workshop facilitated by seasoned personnel from NIEPA Nigeria Ondo focused on promoting a more strategic and integrated way of working among Board Members and their staff. The sessions covered a wide variety of topics, including Governance and Accountability, Programme Monitoring and Evaluating, Public-Private Partnership, Use of Basic Planning Skills, Budgeting & Financial Management in Education and Basic Management & Leadership Skills.
The sessions based on an interactive approach, engaged the participants and provided them with a platform to share experiences, best practices, and success stories.