All Nigeria Confederation of Principals of Secondary Schools (ANCOPSS) has advised school principals in the country to steer clear of partisan politics in the interest of quality educational development.
Speaking at the opening of the mandatory continuing professional training (MCPT) for the teaching professionals in Ilorin on Monday, the President of ANCOPPS, Muhammad Ibn Musa, however, said that school principals should partner with governments to actualize dreams of education developments of their individual states.
On the training programme, the ANCOPSS President, who said that school principals do matter a lot, more than ever, added that “the way schools are led is more vital than ever before, and if school leaders were to sharpen their skills as they must, they need the talent to do it and this critical mandatory profession training is providing like no other.
“The school principal must work to create a safe, supportive and inclusive school environment where students, teachers, and staff feel valued and respected. All these can be adequately provided if we collectively maintain the tempo of professional development of our members”.
Declaring the training programme open, Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq of Kwara State said that the state government recognises school principals as critical stakeholders in the delivery of quality education in the state.
The governor also assured that his administration would sustain efforts at improving the standard of education in the state, saying that his administration would continue to partner with both local and international organizations to take public education to a greater level in the state, especially, in partnership with the school principals.
While he lamented the poor state of education in the form of infrastructural deficiency, poor teachers’ welfare, etc in the inception of his administration, the Governor called on all and sundry to support the government to achieve more for the state.
Also speaking, the chairman, North Central zone of the group, Mr. Ogiri Christopher, appealed to the Kwara State government to assist schools in the state with running costs, especially in the face of fuel subsidy removal.
Mr. Christopher said that the meager Parents Teachers Association (PTA) levy being collected could no longer meet the needs of schools, particularly, in the face of fuel subsidy removal.
The ANCOPSS official, who asked the state government to find means to solve the challenges bedevilling the educational sector in the state, requested that the government should recruit more teachers of core subjects in the schools for smooth teaching and learning activities.
Mr. Christopher said that the government should also regularize the disparity of salaries between TESCOM and SUBEB staff to avoid discrimination and frustration which can stand as a barrier for effective teaching.
The ANCOPSS official also said that reasonable success would be achieved by the time conscious efforts were made to address the challenges listed below:
“Construction/renovation of our classes and provisions of learning facilities to meet the state of art, Provision of adequate security men to protect our schools against miscreants, Introduction of duty post allowance to class teachers so as to serve as inducement for good performance, Implementation of service elongation for teachers are being enjoined in other states, Sponsorship of ANCOPSS members of Africa and international conference so as to use the knowledge gained to enhance quality delivery of education in the state, Provision of plot of land for construction of ANCOPSS Secretariat as done in other states.”
In her speech, the chairman, Association of Retired Veteran Principals of Secondary Schools of Kwara state, Dr. Mrs. Omowunmi Oloyede, commended Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq for various investments in education, which she said is yielding positive results not only in the education sector but including welfare packages for the retirees as beneficiaries of the N10,000 monthly palliative.
However, the group requested that the state government should implement consequential adjustment of pensioners based on N30,000 minimum wage in line with the Labour Union demand.
It also appealed for increase in allocation to pension, saying that the increase will facilitate fast payment of gratuities to members, “as the old need money for feeding, medicine and family as inflation is biting hard”.