From Segun Babatunde in Bauchi
The Executive Secretary of the National Senior Secondary Education Commission (NSSEC),Dr. Benjamin Abakpa has expressed optimism that the collaboration and synergy between NSSEC) and the State Senior Secondary Education Boards(SSEB) would undoubtedly improve the quality of senior secondary schools especially in the areas of Science, Technical, Vocational and entrepreneurial education in the country.
As part of its resolve and determination to reposition the education sector, the Federal Government established the National Senior Secondary Education Commission (NSSEC) to serve as a Regulatory and Intervention agency for Secondary Education in Nigeria.
The Executive Secretary of NSSEC,Dr. Benjamin Abakpa spoke in his welcome address at the Advocacy and Sensitization Forum on the establishment of National Senior Secondary Education Commission for stakeholders from the North-East geo- political zone held Thursday at Command Guest House, Bauchi.
According to him, “I have no doubt in my mind that the collaboration and synergy between the new National Senior Secondary Education Commission (NSSEC) and the State Senior Secondary Education Boards(SSEB) would undoubtedly improve the quality of our senior secondary schools especially in the areas of Science, Technical, Vocational and entrepreneurial education”.
“The Commission in its resolve to bring all the relevant stakeholders on board,has embarked on a National Advocacy and Sensitization Forum in the six geo- political zones of the country to keep all abreast of its mandate and function”.
“To achieve this goal, we have invited experienced Resource persons to educate us on the journey towards the actualization of NSSEC,its mandate and functions as well as the various sources of funding available to the Commission and our senior secondary schools”.
Abakpa said that only the Senior Secondary Education has no functional regulatory and intervention agency, hence the establishment of NSSEC with the effort of the Minister for Education, Malam Adamu Adamu.
The Executive Secretary who explained that basic education comprising both primary and Junior Secondary Education has the Universal Basic Education Board (UBEC) as its regulatory and intervention body, added that the National Commission for Colleges of Education, National Board for Technical Education and the National Universities Commission regulate the Colleges of Education, Polytechnics and Universities respectively.
“From this analogy, only the Senior Secondary Education has no functional regulatory and intervention agency.
Consequently, the Honourable Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu in his resolve and determination to reposition the Education sector, sought and obtained the approval of President Mohammadu Buhari to establish the National Senior Secondary Education Commission.
“This gesture was actualised with the appointment of myself as the Executive Secretary of the commission and the appointment of the Governing Board.
“The Commission serves as a Regulatory and Intervention Agency for Senior Secondary Education in Nigeria,” he said.
In his keynote address, Dr. Aliyu Tilde, Bauchi state Commissioner for Education, said NSSEC would be the UBEC of senior secondary schools, adding that Its subordinate organs such as SSSEB would soon be formed in states to take care of the activities of senior secondary schools.
He said the commission would take over 95 per cent of the work of State Ministries of Education (SMEs) in senior secondary Schools, adding that SMEs would henceforth not be involved in running secondary schools but SSSEB.
Tilde who lamented the roles of corrupt officials and politicians in handling contracts, said “But as far as contracts are concerned, many officials and politicians will smile at the banks.
“Unfortunately, this is the same money that has overwhelmed SUBEBs with unnecessary attention from politicians, corrupted its officials and diverted it from critical education management work, thereby leaving our basic schools unattended to.
“For the politicians and corrupt officials, a new portal is open. Rush there to seek for posting and grab all manna of contracts that will fall as they do in SUBEBs,” he said.