From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
Bayelsa State Government has reaffirmed its commitment to the education sub-sector by initiating policies and programmes to sustain and improve on the massive gains already made in the sector.
This was coming on the heels of the state’s high ranking performance in the annual West African School Certificate Examinations (WASCE), where it had consistently remained among the six best states in the country, since 2013.
Speaking to newsmen in Yenagoa, Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Jonathan Obuebite, pointed out that Bayelsa placed 6th in the latest West African Examinations Council (WASC) results had placed the state as one of the most consistent in external examinations in the last four years.
He attributed the feat to the educational policies and programmes of the restoration administration in the state.
Meanwhile, a 15-year-old student of the newly established Ijaw National Academy, Master Martin Franklin (Jnr), has emerged the winner of N1 million essay competition for students of senior secondary school in Bayelsa State.
Franklin beat Miss Sweet-Owei Blessed Tari of Tare Pet Montessori School, who was runner up and Miss Ayamieye Tamara-Ifie of Biedomo Premiere School that emerged second runner with cash prizes of N250,000 and N150,000 respectively.
The essay competition, which lasted three days, was organised by the Robert Sunday Iworiso Foundation in conjunction with the state Ministry of Education and the Association of Nigeria Authors (ANA).
It was gathered that over 100 secondary students from schools in the eight local government areas of the state participated in the competition with the topic: “Education is an Imperative for National Development and Global Relevance.”
Speaking at the event, the state Commissioner for Education, Markson Fefegha, pledged the government’s commitment to increased investment in the education sector because of its significance in human capital development.
Fefegha, said the government was excited to witness substantial benefits from the strategic and timely investment it had made in the education sector.
While highlighting some of the key interventions Governor Henry Seriake Dickson had made as part of the paradigm shift in the education sector, he commended the organisers of the essay competition for keying into the vision of the government in promoting academic excellence.
Earlier, Director of the Robert Sunday Iworiso Foundation, John Alphonsus Iworiso, expressed the hope that the winner of the first prize would enjoy the limelight and also make his family as well as Bayelsa State proud.