After one year in office as the Chairman of Post Primary Schools Management Board, Enugu, Princess Stella Ngwu proves that she is an amazon who makes the difference.
When Princess Stella Ngwu assumed office as the Chairman of the Post Primary School Management Board, Enugu in January 2009, she was challenged by the deterioration of education standards and the moral decadence of some principals and teachers in the state.
Not deterred by these “monsters”, she swung into action. In her maiden meeting with principals and stake holders in the education industry, she reminded them of the great task ahead.
“Definitely, the task ahead is one which calls for collective responsibility by all the stakeholders in secondary education in the state right from the state government to the Ministty of Education, the Post Primary Schools Management Board, the zones, you the principals, the teachers, the parents and the communities.”
Driving home her point, the chairman, who believes in action embarked on familiarization and sensitization visits to the six education zones in the state. The visits started on March 18, 2009 withAgbani zone.
MESSAGE OF TRANSFORMATION
In each of the zones she visited the chairman informed the zonal staff and principals that the challenges before education in Enugu state are real, serious and many. She reminded them that the journey to qualitative education in the state would not have any short cuts and should not settle for business as usual.
The message of the visits centered on transformation and change. The Board’s mission statement according to her is:
“Towards transformation of secondary education in Enugu state.” She noted that transformation demands a measure of responsibility and dedication to duty by all staff of theBoard.
Princess Ngwu emphasized that, “transformation is a very difficult exercise and more so when we have been on a particular side for a long time. She explained that for real transformation to take place, an individual must have a change of attitude to work
NON-COLLECTION OF ILLEGAL LEVIES BY PRINCIPALS
Before Princess Ngwu became the Chairman of the board, collections of illegal levies by some principals in the state was done with recklessness and without fear.
During her familiarization visits, the chairman reminded the principals that the name of some of them stink, because they engage in collection of illegal levies and all sorts of malpractice.
She warned that any principal found guilty of the offence will have himsellYherseif to blame. Reportsb’lye indicated that with the chairman’s efforts, collection of illegal levies has reduced to its barest minimum.
INCREMENT OF OVERHEADS
The Government of Enugu state paid N 160.00 overhead costs per student to principals to run their schools before Princess Ngwu was appointed chairman. She took it as a big challenge and engaged the authorities in consultation, giving reasons why the. overhead costs should be increased. Following her efforts, the government approved the increment of the overhead costs to N260.00 per student.
RENDERING OF STATISTICAL RETURNS
Before Princess Ngwu’s administration, the submission of statistical returns was not taken seriously by principals. Some principals even gave wrong figures.
The chairman told the principals that no leader in the world can lead successfully without proper and adequate statistics. She wondered why they do not make it a point of duty to submit adequate ançl correct statistical data. Princess Ngwu wondered why principals do not give the real population of their students. Reiterating the importance of statistical returns, she said: “I would give you a long list of statistics to submit. This is because we will like to know the number of teachers in different subjects. When we collate the number, we will be able to have these statistics, and determine the teachers/students’ ratiQ and our human and material resource needs. We now show the number of teachers subject by subject, and that is when we will appreciate the resource gaps and the operational situations better”.
MONITORING OF 2909 WAEC AND NECO EXAMINATION
In an effort to stop examination malpractice in Enugu State, the chairman commissioned WAEC and NECO monitoring teams in March 2009 just before the commencement of the examination.
In carrying out their assignments, the teams were able to discover that some principals, teachers and students were “partners in examination malpractice.” Students, teachers and principals were punished accordingly, by both the board and security agencies.
CAPACITY BUILDING AND TRAINING OF STAFF
Princess Ngwu believes that one of the best ways to improve the quality of principals and the education system in the state is to embark on capacity building.
Thus, on 28 and 29 July 2009, the board organized a two day workshop for all the principals of secondary schools in Enugu state. Renowned professionals and experts were hired to facilitate the workshop. Working group sessions were also organized during the workshop. At the end of the workshop, most principals agreed that they were now equipped professionally.
SEMINARS FOR NEW PRINCIPALS
Since the creation of the Post Primary Schools Management Board Enugu, no chairman has ever organized a seminar only for newly appointed principals. When Princess Ngwu appoin1ed new principals to oversee the affairs of their respective schools, she did not stop only with the appointment. As chairman who sees the principals as agents of transformation, a manager of both human and material resources, an instructional, leader and a mobilizer, she organized a seminar for newly appointed principals in August 2009, papers were delivered by serving principals who used their expertise and experience to impart knowledge on the newly appointed principals.
RECOVERY OF N1.2 MILLION
The arrival of Princess Ngwu as the chairman of the Board heralded an end to a clique that siphoned government fund through a highly sophisticated illegal network. The cbai.flan, as a transformational leader ‘Who preaches against corruption, on arrival discovered that the sum of N798,590.50 was paid into a non functional account.
On 19th February 2009, she dispatched a team of detectives from the board to unravel the evil plan and eventually the money was recovered.
Earlier, she had also on 12th February 2009 sent her team of detectiv to a Microfinance bank in Enugu Nott Senatorial Zone, and at the end of the day a sum of N50 1,148.00 was recovered from the excess of 2006 leave allowance. The recovery of N1.2 million in all reveals that the Chairman is really among men of distinction who stand out from the crowd when it comes to integrity, hardwork and commitment to excellence and service to God and humanity.