The Bayelsa State Government has declared that it will officially launch the State Education Trust Fund (SETF) on Friday, 24th May, 2019. It is over 2 years after Governor Seriake Dickson signed into law the bill, following its passage by the state’s House of Assembly, establishing the fund
This information was made known in a statement to reporters in Yenagoa, the state’s capital by the Commissioner for Information and Orientation in the state, Daniel Iworiso-Markson.
The Education Trust Fund As Part Of Government’s Action Strategy.
Iworiso-Markson expounded in the statement that the education trust fund was part of the government’s action strategy to sustain the huge investment it had made in the education sector. He further stated that Nigeria’s frontline businessmen, Jim Ovia and Benedict Peters, the founders of Zenith Bank Plc and Aiteo Group, are among distinguished corporate launchers expected at the event planned to take place in Yenagoa.
He revealed that other multinational oil companies operating in Bayelsa state are some of the corporate launchers expected at the event alongside Ovia and Peters.
In his statements, the Information and Orientation Commissioner said, “Dickson had on March 31, 2017, signed the education trust fund bill into law, which made it compulsory for different categories of workers, including contractors and civil servants in Bayelsa, to pay education levies.”
“In June 2017, he inaugurated a 14-member board of the education trust fund chaired by a former Minister of Science and Technology, Turner Isoun. The board went to work and in February 2018, presented its first annual report to the governor, declaring a receipt of about N800 million out of which it spent N300 million, leaving a balance of N500 million,” he added.
However, he said the board had yet to present its second annual report to the governor.
State Of Education In Bayelsa State.
The Information and Orientation Commissioner noted that before the Dickson administration came on board in 2012, the state (Bayelsa) used to be ranked at the bottom of external examinations, stressing that the state was now among the top five leading states in the country.
He said, “We have also drastically reduced the number of out-of-school children by 90%. Our model boarding schools – which as of today has over 10,000 students, mostly from indigent families, are on full government scholarships – is also one of the revolutions that has happened in that sector.
“All of these need to be sustained and the Education Trust Fund will take care of that,” He declared.
Out Of School Children in Bayelsa State.
According to data released by the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (2016/17) and the National Bureau of Statistics on out-of-school children in Nigeria, in 2018, there were about 15 million out-of-school children in the country; Bayelsa state accounted for about 0.6% (86,778) – 15.1% of that figure (over 13,000) for kids of primary school age and 10.8% (over 9,000) for kids of secondary school age.