Lawmaker honoured for promoting basic education
Written By Anthony Iwuoma
Posted By Town Crier News Nigeria
Published By Fitness Network Communications
A member of the Senate Committee on Basic and Primary Education, Senator Frank Ibezim, recently bagged the ‘Most Outstanding Performance in Education’ award.
The distinguished senator, who is also the vice chairman of the Senate Committee on Industries, was presented with the award at the Nigeria Orientation Assembly Award 2022, organised by the National Institute of Legislative and Democratic Studies.
The sixth in the series, the annual orientation, and awards, which was held at the Merit House, Maitama, Abuja, was instituted to reward excellence and outstanding performance by the lawmakers as well as “lead a new phenomenon in the assessment and recognition of the parliament and its allies, who are providing complementary achievements to the legislative arm of government.
This year’s event was themed: ‘Gender Discrimination: the 2022 Constitutional Review Experience’.
A letter informing Ibezim of his nomination and eventual emergence as winner stated that he was chosen after a “careful consideration by the nomination committee in line with his social corporate responsibility, good service to humanity and grassroots penetration”.
The letter was signed by Prince Adeboye Omoboye, chairman, and Blessing Shelika, team leader
Speaking in an interview with National Assembly News after clinching the award, Ibezim, expressed delight at being recognised for his contributions even though he said he was just doing his work without knowing that some people were monitoring his efforts.
The lawmaker, whose passion for foundational education is unmatchable, explained that his inclination was fueled by the fact that only getting foundational education right would lead to getting things right in Nigeria.
According to him: “Over the past few months we have spent in the Senate, our major focus was the academic sector; to revive and rebrand the system and give our younger ones better reasons they have to embrace education.
There has been an age long saying that prevention is better than cure.
Rightfully so, in the case of terrorism our focus as a nation has been on fighting terror whereas we can do more to prevent it by simply embracing our fundamental social responsibility to provide quality basic education for all.”
“Once you get foundational education right, you will get higher education right and once you get higher education right, you will get a pathway to building our country, ” he said.
According to him, it was in a bid to drive this focus that the idea of classroom libraries came to the fore, an idea that the Universal Basic Education Commission bought into.
He explained that a pilot scheme had been done earlier where they introduced classroom libraries to 109 central districts.
He added that it led to the introduction of 10 units of libraries to 10 schools, hoping that if successful about 1090 primary schools would have been captured.
The lawmaker lamented that during his oversight duties, he discovered that though these things were sent to the central districts, SUBEB in those states put them in shops and didn’t take them to the primary schools.
“It is also part of the issue in our system. We have a lot of good ideas to turn things around but there is no implementation.”
On what he would love to be remembered for as a member of the Ninth National Assembly, Ibezim said it would be that he encouraged every institution at the NASS to recommend and take the issue of foundational education seriously.
“I want to take the issue of classroom libraries in primary schools to be able to teach our students how to read and write. These will help solve the issue of gangsters, etc., and make Nigeria a better place.”
The classroom library project is simply designed to revive the reading culture among Nigerian schoolchildren, renovate existing classrooms and train the teachers on how to interface with their pupils for maximum effect.
Ibezim rolled out the first phase of the classroom library project in the two federal constituencies of his Imo North Zone, Okigwe North and Okigwe South, barely a few weeks after his inauguration as a senator. He donated books and shelves worth millions of naira to set up the classroom libraries in five schools in each of the two federal constituencies in Okigwe Zone, making a total of 10 libraries in all.
Continuing his push for the classroom library project, Ibezim also rallied the support of both chambers of the National Assembly through courtesy visits to the leadership, who did not hesitate to express approval of the all-important project.