Education is an important sector required in every nation for economic, political and socio-cultural development. It is an instrument for societal advancement and if properly managed, a tool that provides comparative advantage to a nation. With a clear understanding of the place of education in nation building, the State Government invests heavily in education and runs an education system that is qualitative, accessible and inclusive.
The Ministry aspires to create a literate and skilled society where education is accessible, qualitative and affordable through effective and efficient coordination.
The Ministry executes government policies on education using Quality Assurance standards as benchmark, ensuring an all inclusive and knowledge based society through efficient planning and sound financial management.
The embracing nature of the Ministry of Education has led to the creation of an environment of work that promotes team work and the synergy that ensures effective implementation of Government policies by the different MDAs in the education sector. This principle has been the secret behind the huge success the Ministry has achieved.
These achievements can be seen in the areas of system strengthening through the formulation of appropriate policies, review of enabling laws; provision of stimulating learning environment through the expansion and improvement of infrastructural facilities and instructional materials at all levels of education; capacity building and motivation of teachers and other educational personnel; improved access to education by individuals with special needs and the disadvantaged in the society; and the strengthening of the monitoring, supervision and evaluation framework to ensure accountability at all level of our educational system.
There was an agreement with the Boards in charge of primary and secondary schools that appointment of Head teachers/ principals should be based on seniority, and competence determined through interview performance. Since then, agitations relating to appointments of headship and squabbles among teachers in schools are minimal.
The inspectorate Department, now known as the Quality Assurance Department was reorganized, the staff retrained through the assistance of the Education sector support programme in Nigeria to live up to their mandate of monitoring, supervision and maintenance of standards in both public and private school. The Department was directed to spend 60% of the time in the field and 40% in the office. The work of the quality assurance team was strengthened with the appointments of seasoned administrators and educationists as chairmen and members of Post Primary Schools Management Board (PPSMB), Enugu State Universal Basic Education Board (ENSUBEB) and Technical and Vocational Schools Management Board.
The Ministry implements a uniform standard in educational practices in the state at both public and private schools. This has led to the establishment of uniform academic calendar for public and private schools; uniform scheme of work to guide teaching and learning; uniform school records and uniform end of session promotion examinations. These actions enabled us to create a system that is orderly and where sequence of activities is predictable.
As part of the efforts to create a system that serves the educational needs of the people, the ministry embarked on the review of the Education laws in order to have a legal framework that will facilitate the implementation of education policies.
After the Nigeria/Biafra civil war, Government took over all primary and secondary schools established and managed by the missionaries adducing as their reason the need for a speedy reconstruction of the schools. Some years after the government takeover of the schools, a good number of people started raising concern about the quality of the schools and their products. This resulted in government handing back the schools to the voluntary agencies in 2004. Another problem arose as some missionaries had started building alternative schools in the same environment in protest. The problem was however brought under control. The draft bill for the amendment of the schools Transfer law prepared by the Hon. Attorney General has successfully gone through the Enugu state Executive council and passed by the state House of Assembly. The law has been assented to by His Excellency and the implementation has added more values to the Enugu State Education system due to the high level commitment the missions demonstrate in promoting quality education that is built around sound moral values.
The ministry took a hard stand on the issue and declared zero tolerance for examination malpractice to save the future of our young citizen. Today external examination malpractice has significantly reduced among our students and performance has improved. In fact, in 2016, WAEC ranking in the country placed Enugu State among the top 10 high performing States in Nigeria.
The Ministry of Education has a robust staff development policy. It has engaged in institutional capacity building through the support of the State Government and in collaboration with some international development partners especially ESSPIN. Through this effort the capacity of the management staff in the Ministry and the Education Boards have been built to support the running of an efficient education system. Today, we can say we have a team or education planners that see the importance of evidence or data in planning rather than on selfish consideration. The Education Management Information System unit through the conduct of Annual School Census (ASC) has always made data available for planning. The development of the Medium Term Development Plan (MTDP) and the Medium Term Sector Strategy (MTSS) which are linked to the annual education sector budgeting process has always been anchored on data generated through the Annual School Census. Through ASC, it is easy to determine basic infrastructure and facilities requirements and set specific and realistic medium and long term targets.