. . . We’re Trying to Empower Teachers, not Victimize them – Omenugha
By Jude Atupulazi
Intent on giving the children of the state an education that is globally competitive, the Anambra State Government through the Ministry of Basic Education, is organizing a three-week computer literacy programme for ten thousand teachers in the state.
Speaking to Fides in Awka, against the background of allegations that teachers were being forced to pay two thousand Naira to acquire basic computer training which some of them had already acquired, the Commissioner for Basic Education, Prof Kate Omenugha, who dismissed such allegations as uninformed, said the state government was rather intent on equipping teachers in its workforce with requisite computer knowledge to enable them to compete globally with the best.
According to the Commissioner, the training which will commence from August 19 to September 6, will last three weeks. The first two weeks, she said, would be dedicated to the acquisition of basic knowledge of the computer before going into more technical areas in the third and final week that would involve Google, Gmail and others.
Omenugha said teachers coming for the training would be required to pay a token of two thousand Naira for the first two weeks, amounting to one thousand per week. She said it was peanuts compared to what they would pay if they went for computer training outside.
She said though the training would be compulsory, those who were already proficient in the use of computer were free to opt out, even as she said that every teacher would do well to be part of the training because of what would be taught in the last week.
She also reminded teachers that promotion examinations would be based on computer literacy and expressed delight that many teachers were beginning to key in to the state government’s vision of global competitiveness in education.
She said the insistence of the state government on computer literacy was already yielding fruit, with one of the state’s teachers coming first in 2017 in a national competition. She recalled how the teacher had expressed gratitude to the state government for exposing him to computer training which enabled him to beat others from other states in the competition.
She said the state government was committed to demystifying the computer for teachers, some of whom regarded it with dread.
‘We want to package our teachers for our partnership with Google and we want them to be ready for it with such trainings,’ Omenugha explained.
She ponited out that the state government had started the drive for computer literacy from 2015, with the training centres spread across the state. This is even as she disclosed that the state government had also been organizing capacity building programmes for teachers and paying them at the end of such, she further disclosed that more of such had been queued up and that teachers would be given stipends.
She stressed the importance of teachers owning laptops, pointing out that for the state to meet the governor’s vision of offering students of the state the best of education, the teachers must be ready to key into such vision.