No less than 40,000 youths are being targeted to be empowered in Delta state annually under the Skills Acquisition Programme of the State Government.
The State Governor, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan who disclosed this while briefing participants at the Economic Dashboard Implementation workshop in Asaba, yesterday, said that currently, 7,000 youths were being empowered yearly at the different Skill Acquisition centres across the state.
According to him, the Government would intensify efforts to ensure that the target of 40,000 was met by establishing more skills acquisition centres and completing works on those under construction.
“We have agreed that boarding facilities be provided in the already established skill acquisition centres to make it easy for the youths to attend lectures”, he hinted.
Besides, the Governor announced that henceforth Masters Degree would be the minimum qualification for lecturers in Higher Institutions of learning in the state including Polytechnics and Colleges of Education.
He said that it was not acceptable that in the present situation where there are many holders of Masters Degree looking for jobs, tertiary institutions in the state were employing First Degree holders as Lecturers.
Dr Uduaghan said his administration places great emphasis on education stressing that to achieve academic excellence in Higher Institutions of learning, a lecturer with First degree should not teach in tertiary institutions in the state.
He explained that the success of development programme in the state was anchored on education saying “Education is the key to the success of any program we are planning’’.
The Governor who harped on the importance of monitoring in the education sector directed that all Inspectors of Education in the state should have a minimum of two years practical experience in teaching, and that anyone without such experience should no longer be allowed to serve as an Inspector.
He said that for Inspectors of Education to diligently perform their duties, they must acquire the requisite knowledge and experience in the field.
Also, he directed that a comprehensive list of uncompleted projects in Higher Institutions of learning in the state be compiled saying that steps would be taken to ensure that they were completed.
“We noted that our children are doing well in internal exams (JSS 3 exams) but are not performing very well in external exams (SSS 3 exams). We have therefore adopted a strategy to encourage hard work and academic excellence in schools’’, he added.
The Governor noted that there were more teachers in the urban areas than rural areas and enjoined the education ministry to redistribute teachers from the urban areas to the rural areas to balance teachers in schools.
He said the Ministry of Basic & Secondary Education was developing a partnership programme with DELSU to have a continuous program for the training and re-training of teachers for improved productivity.