By Magnus Emuji
In a bid to change the narratives in the education sector and ensure effective and efficient service delivery, especially in the management and administration of schools, 102 prospective principals in public secondary schools in Delta State who were due for promotion in 2015 and 2016 have been successfully interviewed.
The fundamental purpose of the initiative which was for those of them on level 16, was geared towards fulfilling one of the critical requirements aimed at determining the suitability for their career progression.
The promotion exercise organised by the Delta State Post Primary Education Board (PPEB), under the watchful eyes of the chairman, Chief (Mrs ) Christiana Etaluku and the ever articulate and consummate administrator who is the Permanent Secretary of the board, Mr. Augustine Ekababanichionye Chukwuma as well as other members of the board is apparently designed to evaluate their capabilities and discover exceptional quality hands among the prospective principals.
Conducted on August 10 and 11, 2021 at the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) Multipurpose Hall at the headquarters of the board, the prospective principals numbering 102 were subjected to both written and verbal interview.
However, in line with the expectations of the stakeholders, all the prospective principals exhibited high sense of comportment, enthusiasm and commitment to the exercise as virtually everyone of them was competing to emerge one of the best in the overall performance.
It was a vivid reflection of the conventional case of teachers carrying out an assessment of the children in their schools through rigorous process of writing, perhaps in the case of conducting examination for them as the chairman of the board, her members together with the Permanent Secretary, Mr. Augustine Ekababanichionye Chukwuma as well as other management staff keenly supervising the interview session.
Despite the fact that among them, there could be exceptionally intelligent ones, there is also the possibility that some, maybe few of them might perform below average considering the fact that there is no equilibrium of knowledge among every individual thus their performances could differ.
One major factor that had inhibited the growth and development of the education sector overtime is the issue of the reoccurring / unabated cases of illegal collection of levies among principals and head teachers as in the case of primary schools.
Apart from illegal collection of fees, poor administration which is necessitated by deficiency in leadership qualities and skills and lack of team work among stakeholders in the education system, especially among principals and school heads had continued to militate against the progress of the sector.
To this end, however, there is urgent need for stakeholders to effectively collaborate with one another with a view to driving the sector to an enviable height.
Moreover, this concern underscores the essence of a recent familiarisation visit by the Chairman of the board, Chief (Mrs) Etaluku, her board members and the Permanent Secretary, Mr. Augustine Ekababanichionye Chukwuma to the State Commissioner for Secondary Education, Hon.(Mrs ) Rose Ezewu.
And it should be stressed that in that visit to the Commissioner, the chairman explained the functions of the board to include the recruitment, transfer, discipline and promotion of teachers. Barely two weeks after the visit, some batch of prospective principals were due to appear before an interview panel put together by the board for written and verbal interview.
Addressing the prospective principals before the commencement of the interview, the chairman of the board, Chief (Mrs ) Christiana Etaluku reiterated the need for them to always maintain high sense of dignity, discipline and shun acts capable of denting the image of the the teaching profession such as illegal collection of levies. Age specifically warned against such act , adding that indulging on it could attract stiffer penalties.
The board chairman, who reiterated their commitments to ensure the rebranding of the board for effective service delivery and optimum performance in tandem with the Stronger Delta vision of Senator (Dr) Ifeanyi Okowa’s administration, called on all hands to be on deck to rescue the sector from the doldrums occasioned by its low standard in the country.
While urging them to show more commitments to their duties in order to impact more positively on the education sector, she emphasised the strong need for them to carry their subordinates such as vice principals, teachers and other non teaching staff along in the scheme of things. She also said that through such approach , they would record tremendous achievements.
Earlier, the Permanent Secretary of the board, Mr. Augustine Ekababanichionye Chukwuma, who said that the essence of the interview was to evaluate their performances and identify exceptional capable hands among them and discover those whose health challenges have been affecting their productivity.
The Permanent Secretary enjoined them to develop themselves to be effectively equipped and abreast with the modern trends , adding that times have changed and thus they needed to move with time in order to achieve results in whatever tasks they were expected to deliver.
Chukwuma, who noted that principals must have the required techniques to control schools, said that the State Government was laying more emphasis on quality education for the children.
The PPEB Permanent Secretary, commended the state governor for providing an enabling environment for effective teaching and learning activities in schools, adding that Senator Ifeanyi Okowa had continued to prioritise issues of career progression of the state workforce.
Other members of the board who were present at the event included the first member, Evangelist Anthony Nzuwogwu, second member,Mrs. Eunice Bradus – Angezi and Hon. Venture Oyiborhorho who is the third member as well as Directors in Post Primary Education Board.
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