Nigerian Summit Aims to Improve Education in Delta State

Chiedu Ebie pic

Chiedu Ebie

Chiedu Ebie of Nigeria serves as Delta State commissioner in charge of basic and secondary education. A former managing director of Millennium Oil & Gas Company Limited, he has also served as a practicing attorney. Chiedu Ebie’s focus on education led him to support a two-day summit on the topic toward the end of January 2016. The goals of the summit included addressing perceptions of widespread inadequacy in the educational system of the region.

Entitled “Leapfrogging Education in Delta State” and held in the capital city of Asaba, the summit featured prominent speakers such as Pai Obanya, emeritus professor of Ibadan University. The event took place under the chairmanship of Chief Afe Babalola.

The state is home to a three-campus university, a number of polytechnic, 440 public post primary institutions, 6 operational technical colleges and over 1,000 public primary schools. Significant constituencies in Delta State have expressed their desire for an increased build-out of the region’s institutions of higher education. Other participants at the summit said that their focus was more on achieving a higher quality of education than on creating additional infrastructure.

Delta State Nigeria

Delta State Nigeria pic

Delta State Nigeria
Image: deltastate.gov.ng

Chiedu Ebie currently serves in the Delta State Government Executive Council as Commissioner for Basic & Secondary. Having successfully made the transition from the private to public sector, Chiedu has settled down into his duties of implementing the educational policies of the Senator Okowa led administration of Delta State. As as first timer in Government, Chiedu spent the first few months understanding the internal workings of the civil service and more importantly reviewing the educational system in place in Delta State.

Delta State is a one of the oil producing States located in the South South geopolitical zone of Nigeria. Over the years, the State has been one of the top revenue earners for Nigeria by virtue of oil and gas deposits. As clearly articulated during the campaigns leading up to the general elections early in 2015, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa made known his desire to transform Delta State and ensure prosperity for the indigines of Delta once elected into office. To achieve this Okowa outlined a five point agenda encapsulated in the acronym SMART which means; Strategic Wealth creation projects and provision of jobs for all Deltans; Meaningful peace building platforms aimed at political and social harmony; Agricultural reforms and accelerated industrialization; Relevant Health and Education policies; Transformed environment through urban renewal”.

The Technical and Vocational Education bill was forwarded to the State House of Assembly within the first few weeks of Okowa’s swearing in on the 29th of May, 2015. This bill is the driving force for the revamping and repositioning of Technical Education within the State. A once fledging sector, over the years, Technical education was neglected and abandoned thereby resulting in a near collapse of the six Technical Colleges within the State.

Speaking recently, Chiedu was proud to State that the State Government had commenced the repositioning of Technical Education beginning with three of the six Technical Colleges in the areas of infrastructural and equipment upgrade, human capacity redistribution and development to be closely followed with the upgrade of the curriculum.

Revitalizing Basic and Secondary Education in Nigeria’s Delta State

A highly exposed and good team player, Chiedu Ebie has gained two decades of experience in commercial law, the oil and gas industry, and education through positions he has held at numerous private organisations. Currently, as the commissioner of the Delta State Ministry of Education, Chiedu Ebie oversees operations of the state’s basic and secondary educational system.

In recent years, past administrations of Delta State spearheaded the effort to revitalize the state’s basic and secondary educational system by improving the infrastructure of schools statewide, constructing new buildings and providing necessary ICT support. During the term of the immediate past administration, the state built several new schools and provided free tuition to more than 200,000 students.

The administration of Senator Ifeanyi Okowa continues to maintain a dedication to provide free and compulsory education to the students of Delta State at both primary and secondary school levels. Today, the Ministry includes nine separate departments to carry out the work, including planning, examinations, and finance. Through the combined efforts of these departments, the Ministry has implemented a variety of new programs including the revamping of Technical Colleges beginning with the three Technical Colleges in Agbor, Ofagbe and Sapele.