Philip EkeBy Philip Eke
In all ages, be it primitive or modern, human beings have continually craved to improve the quality of their existence,driven by an innate desire. This is the reason for the progressive quest to establish organized human systems with the aim of ensuring peaceful co-existence, productivity, and development in various facets of life - be they socio-economic, political, scientific, cultural or religious. Basically, the successes recorded in any given social milieu are largely attributable to knowledge derived from learning (education) of some sort through which necessary skills and competences are acquired to effect changes that are critical to improve life and living standards.In the last few decades, events in the Ijaw nation have clearly shown that the yearning for development has resounded like drumbeats with increasing tempo, crystallizing in a crescendo. This has attracted the sympathy of committed leaders and citizens, culminating to various nationalist activities including clarion calls, agitations, reasoned or intellectual activism and political adventurism. It is these nationalist activities that gradually snowballed in part to the birth of Honourable Henry Seriake Dickson’s led “Restoration Government” of hope on the 14th of February 2012. Clearly,Dickson’s ascension to power was not an accident but one that was carefully thought-out and tactically planned with deep rooted conviction and vision for development and hence it had a revolutionary blueprint right from the onset to guide implementation to fast track meaningful and sustainable development for the State and the entire Ijaw nation.
A primo and critical aspect of the revolution was the pronouncement of “Free and Compulsory Education” and the declaration of a “State of Emergency” on the sector being that the industry had been in the doldrums or a state of comatose arising from prolonged neglect, to which the Governor had strong and repulsive distaste with positive determination to disallow this from continuing in his homeland. More worrisome was that an initial State wide feasibility study in 2012 affirmed that a pathetic situation do actually exist because: almost all schools were littered with dilapidated and unkempt buildings; learning materials and equipment were either grossly inadequate or were non-existent; a large number of schools had no seats and as such many children were sitting on bare floors which were damaged and damp; teaching and learning which is the core activity of schools was in a state of near extinction culminating to general apathy, low enrollment and poor performance in public schools. To this effect, the twin declarations were not only laudable and revolutionary - akin only to drum beats of a war cry - but they succinctly unveiled the Governor’s sincere love and zeal to passionately provide a holistic and functional education delivery with fervent commitment. Also, the Governor had often asserted with emphases and deep emotion that he will not play politics with education and that his 1st 2nd and 3rd priority sector is - Education -Education –Education. More often than not, governments’ are quick to pronounce a state of emergency for security reasons, and not on education which like cash crops demands huge and long-time investments to yield intended results.
Certainly, the restoration government was aware that to revamp a vast and critical sector like education with huge financial underpinnings would be a difficult task, yet it painstakingly took this part, being driven with commitment to run a responsible and people-oriented government. Often the governor will assert with conviction that “he who serveth man well serveth God well”. Initially, many thought that the declarations were either mere political statements that would not be acted upon or that they were un-wise, over bogus, and over-ambitious political route that is self-roping, suicidal and one that is bound to fail because its demand on resource inputs is overwhelming in the face of other sectorial interests contesting for the scarce and limited State revenue. Despite the perceived fears and doubts raised by dissenting voices, the government was not discouraged but continued to pursue this unpopular but well tele-guided vision driven revolution with vigor and doggedness. Ordinarily, most persons in power would not want to adopt this self-imposed ‘far leftist ideology’ that has heralded a ‘radical paradigm shift that is pragmatic’ except this is forced on them by superior regulations but the restoration government freely did so courageously like a man who with passion ventured to swallow a large chunk successfully despite the risks involved, to the applause and surprise of both his admirers and adversaries.
The Rationale for the Revolution
It is known that Nigeria falls within the underdeveloped index of international ratings. Again, in Nigeria, Bayelsa State is further categorised as a backward and educationally disadvantaged State. For instance, the geographic enclave occupied by Bayelsa State was invariably neglected by successive governments despite its oil rich status to the extent that at the time of creation it had no single petrol station, no light, no road, no higher institution, no hospital and no good schools. Added to this sorry state, efforts at rapid and sustained development after its creation had been either slow or fraught with difficulties as a result of: paucity of funds; unstable governments triggered by political might and radicalism; faulty administrative and managerial styles; and the difficult terrain it occupies which is largely riverine and below sea level making any meaningful development an herculean task. Moreover, the entire land scape of Bayelsa has and is still being extensively destroyed due to devastating levels of oil and gas pollution emanating from poorly regulated oil exploration and exploitation activities. Consequently, indicates of backwardness of all sort typified by illiteracy, ignorance, poverty, militancy, cultism, child pregnancy, unemployment and underemployment, low par capital income, lack of sufficient and skilled manpower, disease, increased death rate, low life expectancy, poor infrastructural outlay both at individual and State levels, and the like had been the bane and common tale of its people, which the soul of Bayelsa State had been begging for positive change spiritedly. The revolutionary agenda was out to change this gloomy situation and hence among other critical sectors education was chosen as the main instrument to address the issues and emancipate the citizens from the myriad and hydra-headed problems encountered.
Today, one can conveniently assert that the report card of Dickson’s 6 years in office shows distinctly that the restoration government has moved with a momentous force to appreciatively transform the education industry and this is attested to by the generality of the people and several prominent persons from Bayelsa State, Nigeria, and the world over, who have seen things for themselves in their various State visits. The manifest truth that Dickson is a visionary and revolutionary leader has become evident, implying rightly that from onset, the policy declarations were neither sentimental campaign pronouncements tailored towards buying the minds of people and their votes nor were they ephemeral emotions occasionally displayed by mortal leaders but they were those of genuine zeal for transformation of his dear State. The high performance ratings of Dickson’s achievements has brought him to the fore, making him to earn nicknames such as “Mr Education” or the “first Education commissioner” he being absolutely education friendly to the admiration of many including the elite.
In summary, the driving force upon which this revolution is anchored was and still is the expectation that all children regardless of sex, location or socio-economic background deserve good education to enhance their lives and that of society. The rare and daunting fits on the education sector are clearly articulated in the section of this article highlighting the major educational development initiatives implemented and the achievements made.
The Vision and the Mission
To actualize a vision, several resources which come in the form of inputs are processed in the productive line to produce the desired outputs. To this end, effectiveplanning, management and implementation of the system were critical ingredients for success and hence proven educationists and technocrats with intellectual and managerial capacity/competence were carefully selected by the governor to join the restoration team to successfully midwife the process. From a technocrat view, the governor’s vision and mission may be streamlined as follows.
The Vision Statement: the dream is that every child is given opportunity to access quality education to develop their innate potentials and capacities so as to possess the required skills and competences derived from schooling and excel significantly such that they can confidently compete with their peers and counterparts from any part of Nigeria and the world, and be selected on merit in all spheres of human endeavor - be it further learning, productive employment, and entrepreneurship - having been empowered to be useful to themselves, the Ijaw-nation and society at large as they contribute their quota to meaningfully growth and development towards modernity in global terms.
The Mission Statement: the mission is to use quality education delivery as a veritable tool for State building by revolutionizing the entire education system through the assurance of increased access to a free and compulsory education with determination and commitment towards the achievement of adequate resources - be it infrastructure, personnel and funds so as to: provide conducive and stimulating schooling environment that will result in improved and sustained teaching and learning culture that is desirable; ensure effective and efficient management and supervision of schools; embark on scholarship program mes for deserving students in tertiary institutions; support existing higher institutions to increase access and improve quality; and to establish vital education organs backed by law to support and direct cultured implementation of the various program mes set out with accountability and continuity in mind.
The Inspiration/Motivation for the Revolution
Henry Dickson’s commitment to adequate education delivery and the passion with which he pursues this is perplexing, he being a lawyer and not an educationist but this view may be easily erased or eclipsed and overturned when one considers that the amiable young leader is an articulate, thoughtful, hardworking, intelligent, wellfocused and vision driven man from humble beginnings, who has repeatedly shown his interest in using education as a plausible platform to emancipate mankind. Resoundingly, he has always attributed his upward climb in the social strata to the good and appropriate education he received. Moreover, he is ‘a home grown country-man’ encompassed with the Ezon-Ebe pain and struggle to restore its God given glory at every inch of opportunity.Certainly, these are the bases for his conviction and quest to birth the wishes of the Ijaw nation to also develop and enjoy the gains of modernization, typified by freedom from poverty, illiteracy, disease, ignorance, injustices and youth restiveness.
Being very conscious of the role functional education delivery could play in the lives of young minds to achieve daunting scientific, technological, information, creative and artistic fits that have stunned the human race in the past few centuries, government has proactively adopted it as the main instrument to correct the ills and challenges that had so glaringly threatened and stalled the progress of the common existence of Bayelsans. Most Educationists would accept that the position of the restoration government is right and appropriate because it is clear to them that neither ill luck nor low IQ had been responsible for the dismal academic performance of Ijaw children, but a systematic decline in the culture of programmed teaching and learning, accentuated by poor infrastructure; low quality of teachers; poor supervision/management; lack of interest, commitment, and incentives; and general apathy to learning resulting from the geometric increase in the “educated unemployed’. This is collaborated by Professor Mon Nwadiani (1998) who “bemoaned that the educational system in Nigeria has collapsed as children are not learning and teachers are not teaching, while all the inputs to facilitate the system are scarce”.The resultant effect of these anomalies were the predominance of negative vices in educational institutions such as mass failure, examination malpractice, youth restiveness, and cultism emanating essentially from poor -self-image, self-value and self-worth, thus resulting to low self-esteem.Therefore, to any discerning mind, the revolutionary decisions taken to revamp the education sector depicts government’s overwhelming interest that is deeply rooted on strong ideological conviction to emancipate the masses which is being vigorously implemented to a large extent with awesome committal to success in thought, vision and action.
The Governor’s heartbeat, eventual twin declarations and the mod us-operandi for its implementation were not founded on fantasy but on sound policy and theoretical postulations by astute professionals at both international and national levels with respect to adequate human capital formation. Most certainly, the restoration agenda is working in consonance with today’s globalized world order which absolutely relies on “knowledge-based and knowledge driven-economy” to develop. Dickson like every well-meaning leader across the globe harps on instating a proper and well-articulated education system to achieve success because of the belief that doing otherwise will not only make such societies to continue to experience a downward trend in the development pyramid but they may possibly face gradual extinction. Outstandingly, when the then Prime Minister of Britain Tony Blair was asked what his priorities were, he said Education, Education and Education, (in Prof. Ayo Banjo - on the Future of Nigeria Education: April 2012). Clearly, this is the part Dickson has taken even as the World Bank (1999), in declaring that the capital of the poor man is himself, rightly asserted that “the stakes of providing functional education are high and the choices developing nations make will lead to divergent outcomes. Countries that respond astutely would experience progress while others risk stagnation and even slipping backwards, thus widening the already existing socioeconomic gaps, and sowing the seeds of unrest”. Similarly, the World Development Report (2007) said, labour is the main asset of the poor, therefore efforts at building a stronger base of human capital and making it more productive are the best ways to reduce poverty. In the same vein, human capital economists such as Harbison (1973) postulated that “human resources constitute the ultimate bases for the wealth of nations, not capital, nor income, nor material resources as these are passive factors of production, but it is human beings that are the active agents that carry forward national development”. Lending is voice to the same premise, Professor J. A. Aghenta (1993)an astute educationists said that “in order to develop, a country must have a considerable proportion of trained educated citizens, not only to act as doctors, engineers, teachers, agriculturists, scientists, etc, but must create a new class of educated citizenry that is sufficiently large and strong to establish its own values, justice and selection on merit”. Hence the National Policy on Education (right from 1969 to its 2013 edition) has tactically ascribed that education in Nigeria is an instrument “par excellence” for effecting individual and national development.
Back home, it is exciting that Bayelsa State is led by a government that takes functional education in implicit trust to such the extent that its exploits are seen as the ultimate bases to actualize the attainment of sufficient quantities of productive human resources with desired knowledge, skills, competences, attitudes, norms and values to effectively organize, co-ordinate and exploit the capital and natural resources available to fast track the anticipated growth and development envisaged.Dickson is one of the rare leaders that has adopted the postulations of Professor Babs Fafunwa (1980), a leading educationist and one time Minister of Education, who proposed that “educational development is imperative and urgent and must be treated as a national emergency, second only to war and must move with the momentum of a revolution, with special attention to primary education which is the foundation for good secondary and tertiary education. Without this, neither the economy nor its people will progress as poverty, ignorance and disease will be their constant companion”.
The Call for Acceptance and Role Expectation
It is only reasonable to quest that this laudable vision that is being possessively and frontally implemented and fast attaining enviable levels of success receive full acceptance and co-operation from all stake holders particularly educationists; opinion leaders; parents; responsible civil organizations, support agencies, and even the clientele (pupils and students enrolled) who are expected to play their various roles in every facet of the educational pyramid such that full advantage would be taken of the opportunities it offers to all Bayelsans.
Already, government has done much of its part by initiating well thought out reforms backed by enabling Laws to ensure continuity and sustainability of the education reform agenda to which absolute compliance with its dictates and workings that would signal corporate seriousness and commitment is demanded. This posture would tacitly spur individuals to reorient their wrong behavioral inclinations and predispositions that had negatively frustrated the system in the past, to state of accepting position change with promptings to work assiduously towards maximal attainment of goals and objectives for the good of Bayelsans for the now and in the future.
This plea is made within the context that government is aware and conscious of the fact that change is often fraught with untold difficulties and met with criticism and resistance by dissenting voices who perceive such well-intentionedactions towards sustainable development as unpalatable, but it is known that change is a constant phenomenon in human history and existence. Moreover, remaining in status-quo and doing nothing to effect positive change will only bring about retrogression. Therefore, blind opposition to desirable change is not a better alternative even though persons with such negatively skewed minds are sunk in a perplexing state of illusionary thoughts of infallibility and so they do not ever imagine that their aversion to purpose change would in future produce lasting consequences and discomfort.
Commitment to Management and Funding
Governor Dickson’s inspiration is hinged on the understanding that to succeed, the education system like any other production industry requires the injection of enormous resources that are physical, human and financial in a committed manner. This is because schools exists in a complex mix of contextual analyses leading to constant recycling of actions and decisions delineated by continuous and dynamic mechanism of “inputs-processes-outputs”. That is, various inputs in terms of facilities, materials, equipment, funds, teachers and pupils are injected into the system; which are utilized in processing a given curriculum in the production lines in terms of teaching and learning, character modeling, testing/examinations, measuring performance, and management of the system; to produce desired outputs through well-defined certification outlets based knowledge and skills acquired by the clientele or students that has transited particular level.
This makes the operational modalities of the system not only complex and dynamic in the input- process mix but intertwined in the management and decision process to ensure an effective and efficient input-output ratio with accountability in mind. The implication is that when the educational process is not given enough commitment in terms of funding and management, the resultant effect is wastage of scarce resources and low product quality. This understanding is what propelled the restoration government from the onset to commit substantial amounts of money to the sector which has constantly approximated the 26% budgetary allocation prescribed by the United Nations.This commitment has greatly eliminated the occurrence of unintended outcomes that are antithesis and the bane of developing the sector from the time of the advent of formal education.The restoration is certain that ensuring quality outputs is not the only reward of adequate education provision, but its unending profit. Therefore educational functionality should be the watch word, the pain, the concern and the vigor of not only the governor but all stake holders and educationists in particular.
The Present State of the Revolution
In today’s Bayelsa, education delivery processes have become more refined, systematic and pragmatic both in policy, funding and implementation to the extent that in most schools the needed environment has been provided in terms of: facilities, equipment, materials and supplies; subventions to enable heads teachers carry out their duties effectively; adequate supply, distribution, and rationalization of teachers to various schools in terms of quantity, quality, subject specialty and experience to enhance curriculum delivery; the establishment of processes for better management and supervision of schools; invigoration of teaching and learning to discourage and eliminate examination malpractice; providing increased access to public schools/institutions with specialized professional options; and expanded scholarship schemes that many have benefited from. These are the reasons for the present high performance status recorded in both State and national examinations and competitions.
To encourage and compliment government efforts, the professionals and practitioners of the system must comply with the inherent dictates of the blue print in terms of policies, projects and programme lined out. The earnest desire in this era is that,‘teachers must teach and students must learn’, to bring about desirable outcomes. Undoubtedly, these are times of positive change with the slogan “it is no more business as usual” just as equality education delivery has become the hub or fulcrum upon which success and progress of governance would be continuously measured. What is happening is good omen for the public education sector that had almost been hijacked or taken over by all forms of impostors, most of whom are alien to the underpinning knowledge base and workings of the industry, but sucking unsuspecting clients like parasites in the name of private investment in education. Yes, whenever a government in power distances itself from providing functional education in any society, business minded individuals certainly know that a fertile investment opportunity has been created because the direct beneficiaries (the clientele) of the teaching-learning process are continuously marching into the world through the human procreation factory in incremental installments or even in geometric proportions particularly in developing nations like Nigeria. However, the strides of the restoration government has brought in a new song of which the tunes and lyrics displayed are in favor of public education, many are already scrambling to acquire without any cost.
The Major Education Development Initiatives/Achievements
The initiatives and achievements recorded includes among others the effective and successful implementation of the following.
1. Successful implementation of the free and compulsory education system at the primary and secondary school levels by abolishing all forms of fees and levies in addition to the provision of free text books, free writing materials such as note books, and free uniforms. Government had also been responsible for paying WAEC, NECO, JSS 111 and Primary six final examination fees for all public school children enrolled.
2. Massive infrastructural development at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels including the:
• Construction of new structures required to facilitate teaching and learning for primary and secondary schools such as classroom blocks, administration blocks, staff rooms, ICT/Library blocks, science laboratories, headmaster’s quarters, youth corpers lodges, and staff quarters.
• Construction of new structures required at the model and constituency boarding schools such as dining halls, hostel blocks, fencing, security building at the gate, concrete work ways, bore holes, electrification etc.
• Rehabilitation, reconstruction and renovations of various school buildings that were dilapidated and warn out at all levels of the education system.
• It is remarkable that as at September 2017 State Wide project inspection outcome, about 751 infrastructural projects had been awarded and undertaken at various primary and secondary schools, out of which 541 were already completed, while 210 are at various stages of completion indicating a whopping 72% completion rate which is highly commendable in his 6 years of governance and more to be awarded.
• The restoration government has also awarded the construction of over 150 new structures required at the various tertiary institutions of which some are massive and capital intensive such as senate buildings, university auditoriums, faculty buildings administration blocks, cafeterias, hostel blocks, fencing, security building at the gates, concrete work ways, bore holes, electrification, ICT Blocks, Library blocks, other specialized structures to meet learning needs, science laboratories, youth corpers lodges, and staff quarters etc. most of these structures are also completed or are in their final stages of completion while many more are still to be awarded for construction.
3. Sustained and progressive provision of required equipment and materials to overcome the gloomy state that existed such as – classroom chairs and table for pupils/students and teachers that were grossly adequate, office furniture for staff, classroom teaching/leaning materials, white marker boards, science laboratory equipment, computers and the like for primary, secondary and tertiary institutions. As at today children are no more sitting on bare floors.
4. Adequate provision of equipment and materials for Model Boarding Secondary schools such as water and electricity supply; library equipment including reading carols and chairs, library racks, magazine displays; library books; file cabinets; office furniture for staff; dining seats and tables; kitchen equipment; computers for ICT centres; white mark boards; laboratory equipment for physic, chemistry, biology, home economics, fine arts, sports and agriculture; as well as beds, mattresses, pillows, blankets and mosquito nets.
5. Award of scholarship to deserving students such as
• The restoration scholarship programme which was award to over 300 children to study in various high-brow secondary schools in the country.
• The implementation of the laudable Model secondary school scholarship programme in all the Local Government areas including the Ijaw National Academy of which 8 out of the 13 schools have already taken off with about 4,000 students offered full free boarding education, while another four including GSS Twon Brass, BDGS Yenagoa, CSS Toru-EBENE,GSS Kaiama, and CCS Ebedebiri now converted to Army Command Secondary School are about to take-off.
• The unprecedented award of scholarship to over 500 Bayelsans from inception to study various Master’s and Doctoral degree (Ph. D) courses at various Universities of choice in the UK, USA and several other countries.
• The award of scholarship to 20 deserving students to study various degree courses at the Lincoln University of which 9 students performed excellently by attaining first class distinction degrees while the rest had 2nd class upper division degrees. More telling is one of our students made the best result in the university and became the valedictorian at the graduation ceremony held in 2017.
6. To strengthen the system, over 300 science and computer teachers were employed to teach at the primary school level in 2013.
7. The system has also succeeded in overcoming the problem of having and utilizing spurious enrollment data that frustrated effective planning particularly at the primary school level to a state where it can boast of having actual enrollment figures right from 2012/2013 due to rigorous data collection, cleaning and updating. For instance, enrollment figures captured as at 2011/2012 session in primary schools were 294,896 but this drastically reduced to 124,000 as at 2012/2013 session indicating 42% error correction as a result of governments resolve to establish accurate data for planning, implementation and evaluation of the system.
8. Public school enrollment has also started to increase gradually because as at 2012/13 session, there were about 124,000 pupils enrolled in public primary schools but this has increased to about 136,000 pupils as at 2016/2017 in real terms. For secondary schools, there were about 74,600 students enrolled in public secondary schools but this has also increased to about 77,000 students as at 2017/2017. This real increases are a result of the improved education system that now exist as parents have started withdrawing their children from private schools to attend public schools.
9. Also school inspection and supervision activities have also increased and improved tremendously with the establishment of the education inspectorate organ right from inspection as all schools are visited regularly by committed teams of experienced educationists.
10. The culminating result of these strides is the attainment of better performance particularly and the primary and secondary schools due to the actualization of invigorated teaching and learning in schools. For instance, Bayelsa State known to have been performing dismally in WAEC and NECO examinations has been improving steadily to the extent that as at 2016/2017 school leaving certificate examinations, the State was ranked 3rd and 5th bests.
11. Commitment to training, regulation and certification of teachers which has evolved to such an extent that a bill has been passed into law on the 28th of February 2018.
12. The successful re-articulation of junior and senior secondary schools for administration and management convenience whereby the 366 secondary schools that existed were reduced to a record 188 as at October 2014 is also an unprecedented fit demanding strong political will.
13. There are other important areas where enormous commitment to funding has been made, which include
• Payment of counterpart funding to enable SUBEB effect infrastructural developments.
• Increasing impress for principals and headmasters.
• Supporting local government councils to pay teacher’s salaries, and
• Monthly recurrent cost implication for running model boarding schools.
14. The will to establish 13 Model Boarding Secondary Schools and 25 Constituency Boarding Secondary Schools for which some have already taken-off, and the facilities in most of them are also sufficient to initiate a take-off
15. The revolutionary and foresighted commitment at establishing various Higher Institutions of learning to improve access and build needed capacity, including:
• Re-establishment of the Bayelsa State College of Arts and Science, Elebele, which has recently been transformed to the Bayelsa State Polytechnic Aleibiri with an enabling Law.
• The successful re-location of the College of Education Okpoama with only 145 students and over 1,200 staff (177 academic staff and over 1,000 non-academic staff) appropriately to Sagbama and renaming it as the Ajaspa Adaka Boro College of Education with an enabling Law where student enrollment has significantly improved to about 1,400.
• The Establishment of the School of Tourism and Hospitality with an enabling Law
• The establishment of the University of Africa, Toru Orua by an enabling Law of which the foundation school has turned out two sets of students numbering over 700, while the present number of students enrolled are over 1300 for the foundation school and the first year 100 level degree students.
16. Another land slide achievement is the unprecedented efforts at strengthening the education management processes and procedures such as:
• The Establishment of an office for Education Inspection and Policy on the 14th of March 2012 with the appointment of a Senior Special Assistance to the Governor to run the office. It was this office that was later transformed to a full directorate.
• The establishment of the Directorate of Education Inspection and Policy services by Law on September 2015 which became operational in January 2016 with mandate to report to the governor directly while collaborating with other organs to carry out its functions.
• The establishment of the Bayelsa State Science and Technological Education Board backed by an enabling Law on the 28th of February 2018 even though the Board was constituted in 2017.
• Establishment of the Bayelsa State Education Development Trust Fund Board in 2017, backed by an enabling law.
• Establishment of the Bayelsa State Polytechnic at Aleibiri by Law.
• The enactment of free and compulsory Education Law of 2018.
• The amendment of the Post Primary Schools Board Law
• The amendment of the State Universal Basic Education Board Law
• The enactment of the school of nursing and midwifery Law.
• The enactment of the Law on education safety Corp in 2017.
• The appointments of competent and professional personnel to serve as technocrats in the various organs of education be it new or those that were already existing. among others.
It is concluded with delight that the twine visionary pronouncement of “free and compulsory education”, and the declaration of a “state of emergency” on the sector by the restoration government led by Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson has become real and come to stay with outstanding success that beats the imagination of even the elect, despite the fact that at birth, many thought the agenda was insurmountable because of the enormity of the problem arising from neglect, apathy and decay the system was experiencing. This was particularly troubling when the financial resources required to appreciably re-invent the system was known to be huge in the context of low revenue inflow prevalent in the country that the State strive with. Consequently, the success story was and is attributable to the vision bearer in particular who pursued the task with apt and intuition, just as his professional working team was very committed, focused, and passionate about effecting schooling success, as they worked assiduously with a momentum likened only to a revolution intended to quell the discomforts arising from unwarranted afflictions. In effect, when Dickson said he will not play politics with education he actually meant it. What is important now is to improve on the gains already made to reach unprecedented levels. To this end, one may rightly caution that it is not yet a final shout of hurray because educational gains are an ongoing process demanding a constant influx of resources to meet existing and anticipated needs of schools and society.
A BRIEF ABOUT THE WRITER
Dr Mrs Stella Peremoboere Ugolo was born on the 20th of June 1957. She is an astute and seasoned educationist who has held various political offices from 2012, but is presently serving as the Director General to the Directorate of Education Inspection and Policy Services organ of the Government of Bayelsa State. She holds the Doctor of Philosophy Degree (Ph. D) in Educational Management with specialty in Educational Planning from the prestigious and reputable University of Benin, Benin City. Before her appointment to hold political office in 2012, she had served both as a primary and secondary school teacher after which she became a lecturer at the University of Benin. She is a Christian and an ordained Minister of God who doubles as a Princess by birth, a High Chief, and Secretary to the renowned Palace of Tarakiri Kingdom. Doctor Stella was and accomplished sports woman in her youth and a successful business woman till date. She is a renowned philanthropies, a team player and a pleasant person who effectively utilizes the principles of firmness and fair play with an unending display of integrity, honesty and diligence in her managerial practices both at home, social cycles and work place. Dr. Stella is happily married and blessed with children and Grandchildren.