Education Investment, A Priority Of My Administration, Says Gov. Diri

…As Bayelsa Trains Teachers For Safe Reopening Of Schools

Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has said his administration would prioritise investment in the education sector  as it remains the bedrock for development of any society.

To this end, he said his government would do more to positively shape the future of students in the state.

Senator Diri said this while declaring open the Safe Re-Opening of Schools Train-the-Trainers Programme organised by the state government at the Harold Dappa-Biriye Conference Centre in Yenagoa.

His Acting Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, in a statement, said the governor promised to ensure quality education in order to build a robust human resource for the overall good of Bayelsa.

His words: “As a government, we will continue to make more investment in the educational sector because it is the responsibility of this government to positively shape the future of our children.

“In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government has found the need to reopen certain key institutions in collaboration with state governments. But we must continue to keep to the protocols and guidelines to avoid any further spread of the pandemic.

“We are here to train key stakeholders in the school system and in the health sector, who will now extend same to their colleagues. That is why it is tagged Train the Trainer. This is the only way to check community transmission in our state.

“As the schools reopen, let us bear in mind that there is no known or recommended cure for COVID-19 although recent events have shown that the disease is not a death sentence. Many infected persons have been successfully  treated even in our state.

“But we must ensure that at all times we keep to the protocols and all the checklist that have been provided to protect the future of our children. That is the avowed commitment of our government.

“It is in this light that we have formed a state monitoring committee, which would go round all the schools in the state, including the local government areas. We have provided scanners, 10,000 facemasks and other hygiene-related items like soap and water for private and government secondary schools.”

Diri challenged school teachers and parents to take responsibility for the wellbeing of their students and children as they resume to write their exams.

The committee on safe re-opening of schools is chaired by the Deputy Chief of Staff, Dr. Peter Akpe.

Other members include the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Comrade Walton Liverpool, his counterparts in Health, Dr. Inodu Apoku, and Information, Mr. Freston Akpo.

The committee also has the Director of Public Health, Ministry of Health,  Dr. Jones Stow, Chairman, Teachers Training Registration and Certification Board, Dr. (Mrs). Stella Ogolo, Executive Secretary, Education Development Trust Fund, Dr. (Mrs). Alice Atuwo, and Director General, Education Inspection and Policy Services, Mrs. Biboye Ogola.

Also part of the committee are the Chairman, National Association of Private Schools Proprietors, Dr. Mrs. Christiana McDonald, and the Technical Adviser on Security, Dr. Boma Spero-Jack.

The committee, which would be replicated in the eight councils across the state, is responsible for training and ensuring the safety of students in all schools.

The governor also appreciated health workers, particularly those on the frontline of the COVID-19 isolation centres as well as the security joint team for their tireless effort, which he said has contributed in recovery of over 90% of the total positive cases in the state.

“Particularly, let me thank our “Generals” in the health sector that have been working round the clock since this pandemic started. They have saved lives in our hospitals, particularly those at the Niger Delta Teaching Hospital, the Federal Medical Centre, the Ministry of Health. Doctors and all other health workers, we appreciate you.”

In his acceptance speech, chairman of the Safe School Re-Opening Committee, Dr. Peter Akpe, on behalf of members, promised to deliver on their mandate to ensure that the reopened schools were safe for all students.

In his opening remarks, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr. Inodu Apoku, said the state government has courageously spent resources to win the battle against the global pandemic, which has resulted in the discharge of 90% of patients that tested positive for COVID-19.

He disclosed that out of 339 confirmed cases so far, there are currently only 34 active cases with 284 discharged and 21 deaths recorded.

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