By Okeoghene Oghenekaro
Abuja – NOH Kyu-duk, the Republic of Korea’s Ambassador to Nigeria, on Monday pledged his government’s continued support toward improving Nigeria’s education sector.
Kyu-duk made this pledge during the opening ceremony of the second workshop on the projects for the establishment of model primary and junior secondary schools in Abuja.’’
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the 10-day workshop was organised by the Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) for teachers of the proposed Nigerian-Korean Model School in Abuja.
He said that the workshop was a product of the excellent cooperation between the government and the people of the Republic of Korea and Nigeria.
“Nigeria, under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, is on the right track to advance beyond the African continent.
“As a friend, Korea is more than willing to share our experiences and assist your noble endeavours.
“It is no wonder Korean government’s official development assistance to Nigeria, since 1991, has mostly been focused on education, human resources development, vocational training, governance and agricultural development.’’
Kyu-duk added that the Korean government was working with Nigeria to develop and design the master plan that would assist public institution’s e-governance practices.
“The ambassador also noted that Korea was supporting a vocational training centre in Lokoja, Kogi State.
“My government’s total commitment to these projects alone amounts to 34 million dollars.
“My government’s 15-million-dollar grant for the development of the Model Primary and Junior Secondary Schools in Abuja shows Korea is with you on your journey to a great future.’’
He said that education was very relevant to Korea, hence its focus on education in Nigeria.
“Education as we Koreans call it “the grand plan for a century’’ means how you educate your students decide the future of not only your children, but also their children and grandchildren.
“In turn, it also means that you need to devote your energy and resources to nurturing students for the next century.’’
Kyu-duk urged the participants to ensure they gained the required knowledge from the training which, he said, would help prepare and guide their students.
FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Bello, in his keynote address, expressed appreciation to the people and government of Korea for the educational collaboration with the FCT.
“I wish to state that the level of commitment shown by KOICA and the educational secretariat is commendable.“
“This project will turn out to become a great legacy, not only to international cooperation, but to education as well.
“We cannot emphasise enough the importance of training and re-training of teachers and administrators in our schools.
“This is due to the dynamic nature of knowledge and the need to keep abreast with newer methods of imparting knowledge,’’ Bello said.
The Minister, who was represented by Dr Adamu Noma, Director, FCT UBEC Board, said the territory had some education challenges which included infrastructure and facilities.
“These challenges are orchestrated by funding and the influx of people into the city, but they are not excuses for poor performances in our examination.’’
He urged the education administrators to think out of the box to overcome everyday challenges in their schools.
He assured the teachers that the FCT administration would try to meet the needs of teachers so they could discharge their duties effectively.
Mr S. Eloho, Director, Department of International Cooperation, Ministry of Budget and National Planning, said that the workshop would further enhance the capacity of administrators and teachers by providing quality teaching and learning methods for students.
The director, who was represented by his deputy, his Deputy Director, Mr Simeon Ileuma, thanked KOICA for the kind gesture and expressed the hope for continued cooperation between the government of Nigeria and Korea.
NAN reports that 72 teachers and six administrators are attending the programme.