Bayelsa Fund sponsors 5,000 boarding school students

 The Bayelsa Education Development Trust Fund (BEDTF) says it is sponsoring 5,000 boarding school students in the state.

The fund on Friday said its intervention in public schools in the state has uplifted the educational sector.

The BEDTF Executive Secretary, Dr Alice Atuwo, stated this during a visit by its Publicity Committee to the office of the Federated Correspondents Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Yenagoa.

The board, according to Atuwo, is directly responsible for the feeding, running and maintenance of the eleven boarding schools located in the eight local government areas (LGAs) of the state.

The responsibilities include the payment of WAEC and NECO fees of students in the state model schools.

The Executive Secretary was accompanied by the Chairman of the Publicity Committee of Board, Chief Fidelis Agbiki, Secretary of the Committee, Seyeifa Koinyan and other members of the committee.

Atuwo said the board has also carried out various interventions at the state-owned Niger Delta University, NDU, University of Africa, Toru-Orua, and the state Medical University, Yenagoa.

She also disclosed that the board has also been involved in the training and re-training of teachers through the Teachers Training Registration and Certification Board.

She explained that 650 teachers have been trained already while another batch of training is expected to hold next year.

Atuwo said: “The general purpose of the board is to contribute to the upgrading of education in the state, this is an interventionist agency in the educational sector and the first of its kind in the state.

“Every worker in the state has contributed towards the operation of the board by paying taxes. The government also brings in an inflow of five percent from the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).

“There is one per cent inflow from the capital payment from the government and over the years we have reached out to philanthropic individuals, international donor agencies and non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

“At the time of our inauguration, there were five existing public model schools but today we have 11 of them, at least one in each LGA, including the Sports Academy and the Ijaw National Academy.

“The feeding and running of the schools and maintenance of the model schools takes about 80 per cent of our income but the law does not limit us only to the model secondary schools; it is for education, that is from primary school to tertiary institutions.

“At the tertiary level, NDU is benefiting from us in the area of ICT; at the University of Africa, Toru-Orua, we sponsor research and training, we have a Computer-Based Testing Centre for UTME.

“We also contributed to the take-off of the Bayelsa Medical University, by intervening in the accreditation of their courses, and we have also related with the Teachers Training Registration and Certification were we trained 650 teachers during our first tenure and another training is expected to hold next year,” he said.

The Chairman of the Publicity Committee of the board, Chief Agbiki, said the visit was to open a new vista of relationship with the media.

In his remarks, the Chairman of the Federated Correspondents Chapel, Mr. Chris Eze, commended the Education Development Trust Fund for the visit.

Eze said the visit has given journalists insight into the activities of the board and called for more collaboration and synergy with newsmen in the state. (NAN)