by Stanley Azuakola
Students in Edo State public schools are in for interesting times. That’s because the state government has introduced an initiative they call Executive Teaching, which would require the governor, his deputy, commissioners and directors to serve as guest teachers twice a week in select public schools.
The initiative was announced on Monday by the state’s commissioner for education, Mr Ekpenisi Omorotionmwan while monitoring resumption of schools for the 2012/2013 academic session. He said that the purpose of the initiative was to stand the state out educationally in the country.
The commissioner also clarified why the government insisted that all schools in the state, whether public or private, resume for the session on the same day, September 10. According to him, this was to ensure that the state operates a uniform school calendar. He warned on Monday that any school which fails to resume on the said date would be shut down.
“Schools in Edo state private or public without exception resume on Monday 10th September 2012. Any school in this state that falls short of this requirement will go in for it. Any private school that does not reopen for commencement of academic work will be closed down. We may be forced to withdraw the license of these schools because we cannot continue like that,” said the commissioner.
When reporters asked the commissioner why it was necessary to have a uniform calender in schools, he said that uniformity and standard in all schools is important.
He however disclosed that schools which sought permission to resume later will escape the sanctions.
“A few schools have come to seek permission of the ministry to resume a day or two later than others specifically O.L.A in Airport road. They have written to say because of the massive renovation which we encourage and transformation that is ongoing in the school, they may have to take a few days and we have permitted that. I have taken pains to find out why some of them did not want to obey the uniform school calendar. It’s because they want to be unique and that is a stupid way of being unique,” he said.
Omorotiomwan further revealed that to ensure that all schools in the state are up to standard, the state plans to conduct unified examination for both private and public schools in future.
“It is to enhance the standard and ensure uniformity since it’s the same curriculum and the same scheme of work; they should be able to write the same exam. Don’t forget examination is not just a test of students alone; it’s also a test of the teacher.
“We want to be able to know why the students failed in one part of the state and they did well in other parts of the state. That should be able to check the teachers to ensure that they are doing what actually they should do in the lives of the children,” he said.