Joe Effiong, Uyo
A member of Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Mr Aniefiok Dennis has officially written to Gov Udom Emmanuel pleading with him to sign into law a bill passed by the Assembly on the state’s School of Health Technology.
The School of Health Technology, Etinan, established since 1988, just a year after the state was created, has remained without an enabling law till date.
In 2016, the Assembly enacted a law to formally establish the school, housed till date in makeshift and dilapidated colonial cubicles which functioned as the defunct School of Midwifery, Etinan.
That bill never became a law and was later amended in 2019 with proviso that it be converted into a college as its counterparts nationwide.
The delay in the signing of the bill might have forced Dennis, who is Chairman, House Committee on Information, to write to the governor on July 7, 2020, Ref.No. AKHA/HM/ABK/VOL. 1/079, sent through the Speaker of the Assembly, to justify why the School should be changed to College.
He said the benefits of making the School a College would include its ability to conduct more professional programmes unlike now that it can only conduct a few programmes as a school.
“The National Board for Technical Education (NABTECH) which is responsible for accreditation of polytechnics and monotechnics, such as the school of health technology, doed not accredit such schools but colleges.The advantages of NABTECH accreditation are many including award of Higher National Diploma (HND, other than the OND), NYSC mobilisation of its HND graduates, among others.
“NABTECH accreditation also entitles institutions to grants and support by government agencies, example, the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) as well as other research institutes. This fund which is currently not enjoyed by the school, helps relieve state governments of the funding of such institutions.
“The current bill passed by the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly contained critical requirements for the establishment of the institution and changing it from School to a College. This will remain a legacy for the government of Me Udom Gabriel Emmanuel.” The lawmaker wrote.
He concluded by appealing to the governor that “the signing of the bill into law through assent by His Excellency, the Executive Governor, becomes imperative.”
Daily however learned that the governor has yet to accede to the request of assenting to the bill.