Minisetry ‘ll Protest Students, Ensure High Standard, Ebie

HE Delta State Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, Mr. Chiedu Ebie has warned that as a responsive government, the ministry will do everything within its powers to protect students in its educational institutions while at the same time ensure a high standard of discipline is maintained by students.
He pointed out that “bullying is a world-wide phenomenon, which must be curtailed and brought to an end. He stressed that the state government knowing the danger it posed to friendly and conducive environment for teaching and learning in schools, would address the issue with the seriousness it deserved”.
Mr. Ebie spoke against the backdrop of reports of injury inflicted on a student, who had been involved in bullying, extortion and brutalising of a fellow student, as a form of punishment by the school authority of Government College, Ughelli during an unscheduled meeting with the principal, teachers, representatives of PTA and Old boys association of the school within the school premises.
While emphasising on the responsibility of the school authority to instill discipline in students, he condemned the use of excessive force that would inflict bodily harm or injury on a child. He, therefore, called on the principal and teachers to strike a balance between instilling discipline and its compliance, as no parent will be happy if a child is injured in the process, no matter the offence and good intentions. Consequently, he warned that on no account should the use of force be employed as a means of discipline by school authorities.
The Commissioner, who was accompanied by the Permanent Secretary, Post Primary Education Board (PPEB), Dr. A. Okolie, and the Zonal Permanent Secretary, Ughelli North and South PPEB, Mr. Orutu Williams, the ALGON Chairman, Mr. Itiako Ikpokpo, as well as Directors in the ministry and the Chief Inspector of Education and staff in the local government council, reminded students to be mindful of the consequences of their action, be of good behaviour, focus on their studies and more importantly, desist from acts of bullying of fellow students which he acknowledged, had become a worldwide phenomenon.
He equally called on the school authority not to neglect the benefit of open communication with the students and their parents in dealing with cases of indiscipline. He said that where that fails to yield positive change, they should utilise other means, such as, suspension, and in a very bad situation, expulsion in handling uncontrollable students.
Though the purpose of the visit was to address the issue of injury inflicted on a student, the Commissioner utilised the opportunity to conduct a tour of the school facilities to assess the quality and level of infrastructure of a school that had over time produced eminent Nigerians. In the same vein, the Commissioner in addressing the teachers, underscored the importance of capacity building for teachers, quality of teaching content and its delivery to students for meaningful academic pursuit, as well as, teachers and students welfare, aside infrastructure development.
Earlier in their separate offices, the Chief Inspector of Education, Mrs. Kindeh Oweh, the Principal of Government College, Ughelli, Mr. Vincent Useh, while commending the Commissioner for his prompt response, presented reports on the altercation that emanated from addressing issue of student-bullying in the school, and the resolve of the School management, PTA, Old Boys’ Association, Ughelli Branch, and parents of the particular student. They further explained their challenges in running their various offices and pleaded with the ministry to address them. Equally, the Zonal Permanent Secretary, PPEB, Ughelli North and South, Mr. Orutu Williams enumerated the challenges facing his office to include insufficient fund to offset office rent, school desks and class rooms.
Meanwhile, the President of the Old Boys association, Ughelli (Home) Branch, Rev. (Hon) Esemiteye Benjamin prayed God to empower the Governor, His Excellency Senator Ifeanyi Okowa with wisdom and vigour to pursue his SMART agenda for positive impact on Deltans. He also commended the Commissioner for spending quality time in the school and wished him well during his tenure in charge of Basic and Secondary Education in Delta State.
Also, teachers and students were visibly excited to receive the Commissioner in their school. Speaking on behalf of his colleagues, the Head student, Master Jude Alele, thanked the Commissioner for the facility tour of the school and promised to use his position to encourage students to put in their best and be well behaved at all times.