Mr Simon Lalong, the Plateau APC governorship candidate, on Thursday pledged to ensure free education for all in the state, if elected governor.
Lalong in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Jos also pledged to end the recurring strike by academic and non-academic staff of tertiary institutions in the state.
He noted that the education sector in Plateau had deteriorated, and pledged to bring about positive changes that would ensure access to qualitative education for all, irrespective of ethno-religious or political differences.
“The educational system in the state does not receive the attention it deserves. The state does not have enough teachers and moreover, primary school teachers have not been paid for more than 10 months, yet the governor is still constructing class rooms.
“I wonder how Gov. Jonah Jang expected teachers to be productive in spite of their poor conditions of service. How can teachers be productive if they have not being paid for over 10 months?
“Teachers are supposed to enjoy all the necessary welfare services to motivate them to work diligently. They also have personal needs, school fees to pay, house rent, and need their salaries to actualise these needs. Teachers are also supposed to be trained and retrained as required, in order to improve on their services by building their capacities,” he said.
According to him, it is very disturbing for the state to always come last in the senior secondary school certificate examinations in the country.
Lalong also expressed worry that all tertiary institutions owned by the state government were on strike due to poor funding.
“If attention is not given to the education sector, I fear that the system will crumble. Our children are at home because the Plateau State owned institutions are on strike for non-payment of salaries and poor funding of their institutions,’’ he said.
Lalong observed that the non -accreditation of courses run by the State University and frequent disruption of management structure would have negative impact on the students, growth and development of the institution.
The APC governorship candidate said that the state government had appointed vice chancellor for the university five times in eight years.
Lalong believed that such situation would not encourage the consistency needed for the school to function properly.