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Shettima inaugurates NEDC accelerated Senior Secondary Education Programme

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Shettima inaugurates NEDC accelerated Senior Secondary Education Programme

The Vice President , Kashim Shettima has launched the Accelerated Senior Secondary Education Programme (ASSEP) Programme (ASSEP) an initiative of the North-East Development Commission (NEDC)to transform education outcomes in the NorthEast region.

ASSEP will pay special focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and communication, which foster creativity and critical thinking; it motivates and inspires young people to generate new technologies and ideas to learn from inquiry-based tasks.

ASSEP is anchored by the North East Development Commission (NEDC) to focus on subjects with a direct bearing on science, technology, mathematics and agricultural (STEMA) courses. The programme is targeted at students in senior secondary schools across the six states of the northeast (Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Taraba, and Yobe).

It is designed to bridge the gaps in the quality and reach of secondary education in the region. Target gaps include quality of instruction, quality of teachers and adequacy of facilities.

Shettima commended the NEDC initiative which he said will help in an effort raise the standard of education of the region.

He was speaking at the launching of the ASSEP programme held on Saturday at the Government House, Bauchi. He sought for the support and cooperation of all in order to succeed Shettima said while primary education provides a foundation, secondary education is a bridge.

He said that “Northeast sub-region in particular has been the victim of our inability to enforce a uniform policy to drive school and the persistent cultural perversion to formal education in this nation by various communities.” He said that consequences of the nation’s action and inaction are evidence in all indices used to assess our development.

“We in the Northeast occupy a quantum of position in ranking of essential services. Education being a key sector of this country, this is especially pronounced in the post primary education, while the Northeast secondary school enrollment drive stands at 19 percent –far below the nation’s 39 percent.”

The MD/CEO of NEDC, Mohammed Goni Alkali said that the North-East Region consist of people with diverse but rich and complimentary Socio-Cultural and Economic heritage and traditions.

“Over the decades, the geography, landmass and wide disposal of human settlements (now towns, cities, and villages) presented challenges to effective administration and efficient delivery of social services. As times changed and civilization evolved, this challenge begin to manifest in disparities in development indicators both within the region, and between the North-East and other regions of the country,” he added.

He said that,”With the obvious limits to the resource level and human capacity of Sub-National Governments to drive and achieve desirable levels of human development in the Region, the Federal Government of Nigeria conceived and established the North-East Development Commission (NEDC) not merely to rebuild social and physical infrastructure damaged by the devastating insurgency that ravaged much of the region but also to address the root issues that fueled such and lift the region to a level where such will not happen again.”

Goni said that, “Thus, NEDC was set up to coordinate and drive a strategic development agenda with a focus on the near-term and future challenges to, and opportunities for development.”

The North-East Stabilization and Development Master Plan (NERSDMP) developed by the Commission and its diverse partners consists of Pillars that support Human Capital Development in the North-East Region such as Educated Populace and Healthy Citizens Pillars, alone, which caters for both human capital and physical facilities (infrastructure, teaching/learning materials, etc.) is estimated to cost over N1 trillion.

The Commission has also ploughed other funds in Human Capital training and retraining programmes that can propel socio-economic development of the NE Region to underscores the premium placed on building the people and their capacity to make concrete social and economic contribution.

He said that, “But beyond targeting and facilitating the lifting of beneficiaries as a development priority, we envision the people whose capacity we build today as the future custodians of the legacies we create today.”

“Therefore, the Accelerated Senior Secondary Education Programme (ASSEP) we have gathered here to launch today is an intervention focused on addressing a particular challenge in our Region’s education system; it will provide effective support where the capacity of conventional schooling arrangements is limited for our teeming beneficiaries,” he explained.

Goni explained that some of the key statistics/indices about Education in the North-East Region are – Primary Education Completion level of 85% in the NE is among the best in Nigeria, but Secondary School enrolment is a mere 15%, the second worst nationally.

He said Due to challenges in the post-primary education segment, JAMB UTME applications and admissions into tertiary institutions in 2019 were the lowest for the NE compared to other Regions.

Nationally, the NE has the lowest number of teachers and the highest percentage (55% of those available) without literacy skills.
Goni said that the Challenges in post-primary education segment include weak quality indices (infrastructure, personnel and student disposition) and a wide demand – supply gap driven by economic and cultural factors.

The quality and scale of post-primary education (sound secondary education and high completion rates) are major drivers of human capital development. He said the Accelerated Senior Secondary Education Programme (ASSEP) seeks to boost the post=primary education rating across the NE Region through 3 major objectives of improved enrolment into tertiary institutions, skills development and elevation of teacher quality. ASSEP Key Delivery Pillar is to raise awareness about after-school possibilities and the potential for diligent students to become successful and prominent contributors to the NE Region and Nigeria.

ASSEP Main Components include Quiz Competitions; Examination coaching (one ASSEP Centre in each of the 18 Senatorial Districts) will be designated as “NEDC Centre of Excellence in Senior Secondary Education” to organize and hold regular tutorials, especially for students enrolled as candidates in WAEC, NECO and JAMB examinations); Virtual instructions; Teacher quality upgrade.

“As we embark on this critical mission today, we stand at a vital crossroad in our history that signifies our deep commitment to develop and support the children and youth of the North-East to grow, develop, compete with the best across the world in various fields, excel and contribute to further development of our states, region, country, continent and humanity in the years and decades to come,” he added.

“We are here today for a landmark event in the history of our Region, the North-East.

As modest as this occasion may be, we recognize that it marks the beginning of an opportunity to uplift the lives and livelihoods of our people, and indeed, their socio-cultural and economic position in years and decades to come,” he concluded.

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