The Kogi State Government has called on the Nineteen (19) Northern States to sustain the Students’ Exchange Programme (SEP) and ensure that its goals of establishment are effectively achieved.
The State Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology Hon. Wemi Jones, FCIB, made the call at the Three-Day Pre-Inspection Meeting of the Monitoring Inspectors of Students Exchange Programme (SEP) of the 19 Northern States, holding at the ministry’s Conference hall in Lokoja.
Jones said that the SEP among the 19 northern states had been in existence for ages and should be sustained by ensuring adequate security and better welfare for the students and quality teachers.
Represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Pastor Emanuel Idenyi, Jones said Kogi was doing its best to see to the welfare and improving the academic performances of the students in the two schools in the state.
He stressed that the essence of the SEP was to foster unity and improve academic excellence amongst the States
The commissioner urged the participants to always take the issue of security seriously by building perimeter fencing around the schools and providing enough security for the schools and as well check on them from time to time.
‘At the level of our state, we are trying our best to ensure that the right things are done. We have ensured we treated the students like our children and provide best teachers and welfare for them.
”I want to believe that other States are trying their best in doing the same too.
”We should try as much as possible to sustain the gesture; we met on ground and we must strive to keep the legacy and build on it”, he said.
He further urged the participants to observe COVID-19 protocols even though Kogi had been free of the virus.
Earlier, the Director, Kogi State Basic and Secondary Education, Mrs Sarah Agbaji, said the ministry would continue to support and encourage the programme because of it objectives and benefits
She urged on the government to maintain the existing structure and facilities to enhance smooth running of the programme.
Agbaji noted that checking on the students unannounced by the Monitoring Inspectors from time to time and interacting with them would encourage discipline and academic excellence.
She thanked the Commissioner and the Permanent Secretary for being so supportive in ensuring that the aims and objectives of the exchange students were achieved.
She further thanked the Commissioner for providing the enabling environment for them to operate.
Also speaking, the Chairperson, SEP Monitoring Inspection Unit, from Kaduna State, Hajiya Hannatu Gwani, appreciated Kogi State Government for hosting the nineteen northern states
She further urged the participants to be ICT compliant to ease their work and enable them compete favorable with their counterparts in the other part of the world.
A participant from Nasarawa State, Alhaji Aliyu Yahaya, comended the government for their efforts, stressing the need for the schools to always send their students back to their respective States on time and avoid night journeys.