From Boniface Okoro, Umuahia
An economist and educationist, Dr Godson Dinneya, says government has lost the moral right to enforce their own policy guidelines on school management.
Dinneya who made this assertion in a statement made available to newsmen in Umuahia, noted that there was an absence of an enabling environment for first-rate performance in public schools in the country.
Dinneya, the founder of The Total Education Development Academy (TEDA), one of Abia State and South East’s leading secondary schools, observed that this state of development was as a result of environmental issues which concern the state of facilities and remuneration for instructors.
Dr Dinneya stated: “Three parts make up a school: the Instructors, Learners, and the teaching/learning environment. To a large extent, there are still qualified teachers, and the students are readily available. What is grossly lacking is the enabling environment, especially infrastructure.
“You have classrooms with leaking roofs; empty libraries; cobwebs-infested laboratories; dry and blocked water pipes where they exist; and a near absence of electricity. And the big one – poorly remunerated school staff whose salaries are almost always in arrears of up to 12 months. Governments have therefore lost the moral right to enforce their own policy guidelines on school management,”
Dr Dinneya canvassed that education officials across the states should provide a more enabling environment for learning in public schools. He also recommended that citizens and parents should interrogate the plans for education by those seeking votes across the states.
He disclosed that his TEDA School located at Eke-Owerri, Obingwa in Abia State, contributes to solving the above listed problems by ensuring an enabling environment conducive for all players in the system and offering scholarships to four categories of students.
It was learnt that TEDA offers fee rebates for academic brilliance, staff children, children of Christian ministers regardless of denomination, widows’ children and the third sibling in a row.
Dinneya said 12 per cent of the school’s population are in one form of scholarship or the other. Those on Academic Excellence pay only 50 per cent of the fees, same as staff children. A pastor’s child qualifies for 25 per cent rebate, a third sibling gets a 20 per cent rebate while children of widows also get 20 per cent rebates on the fees.
The award-winning TEDA School, according to Dinneya, has introduced more practical courses and equipment to boost the curriculum for students as it prepares for the 2022/2023 academic session.
“In addition to our well-equipped Cultural and Creative Arts Studio (CCA), TEDA has introduced music classes powered by Kharismates Music Academy, Nigeria, where students are taught how to sing and play different musical instruments such as violin, cello, saxophone, keyboard, guitar and more,” he said.
In addition, the Founder said TEDA has equally introduced and equipped Information and Communication Technology workshop to add to the six workshops it has for technical subjects. It now offers Phone and Computer Maintenance (PCM) classes “designed to empower the students in ICT-based entrepreneurship and self-reliance after secondary school.”
Furthermore, he said that the school also has five well-equipped workshops offering practical experience in automotive technology, woodwork, metalwork, electrical and electronics, and more.
TEDA, Dinneya continued, offers Early Science Education for its junior school students. It offers JSS1-3 students “the opportunity to discover their true potential early” by exposing them to Basic Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Economics and Further Mathematics. Dinneya asserts that “this is in line with international standard and to groom them to rule their world at an early age.”
Detailing laurels in TEDA’s kitty, he said that the school emerged Best School in Junior Science in the International Olympiad Competition in 2019/2020 as its students placed first, third, fourth, fifth and seventh out of the best ten.
According to him, TEDA also won overall first and third position in junior sciences and Best Girl in Junior Sciences (Queen of the Junior Sciences); adding that the Abia State Ministry of Education named TEDA the best government-approved Junior Secondary School for 2020/2021 and the second position among Government-approved Senior Secondary Schools in the state.
“Significantly, TEDA was the best overall school in the Senior School Certificate examination by WAEC in 2020 for producing the best aggregate resulto Dinneya said, adding “over 800 students are enrolled with full boarding at TEDA which has, since the pandemic and the economic crunch, welcomed many students from overseas whose parents send them to Nigeria for acculturation without fear of losing standards.”