COMMUNIQUÃ‰ OF THE MAIDEN RETREAT ON SERVICE DELIVERY FOR MANAGEMENT, SENIOR STAFF AND FIELD OFFICERS, HELD AT ZARANDA HOTEL, BAUCHI 6TH – 9TH MARCH, 2005
1.1 In response to the Federal Government’s directive that all public agencies must draw up and publicize their Service Charters, and to vigorously pursue more than ever before its vision of enhancing the professional skills of teachers for quality education delivery at the primary and secondary education levels; the National Teachers’ Institute, Kaduna organized its maiden retreat on Service Delivery for Management, Senior Staff and Field Officers, at Zaranda Hotel, Bauchi from 6th – 9th March, 2005.
1.2 The objectives of the Retreat were to:
i) critically examine the quality of service currently being delivered by NTI;
ii) review their mode of delivery and identify strategies for improvement;
iii) sensitize staff on Government Reform process and its implications for the Institute; and
iv) sensitize staff on the need to meet public expectations;
v) re-orient NTI Staff towards effective and efficient performance;
vi) identify strategies for conducting effective advocacy for NTI programmes and Open & Distance Learning in Nigeria;
vii) review NTI Service Delivery Charter.
1.3 The Retreat which was declared open by His Excellency, Alh. Ahmadu Adamu Muazu, the Executive Governor of Bauchi State, was chaired by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, represented by Mr. Olu Ilesanmi, Director, Planning, Research and Statistics, Federal Ministry of Education, Abuja.
1.4 Other dignitaries at the ceremony included the Bauchi State Executive Council members, representative of the Economic Adviser to Mr. President and Chief Executive Officer, National Planning Commission, the representative of the Special Assistant to Mr. President on Strategy & Coordinator, SERVICOM, and the Vice Chancellor, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi.
1.5 In his Welcome Address, the Director & Chief Executive, National Teachers’ Institute, Kaduna, stated that the Retreat was convened not only in response to Government’s directive that all public agencies should develop and publicize their Service Delivery Charter in line with the on-going Federal Government Reforms, but that the Retreat would offer the Institute the opportunity to reflect on its activities with a view to consolidating the areas of gain and, a total review of others, where necessary. He said that the ultimate goal of the Institute was to improve its services to meet public expectation and also contribute towards the upliftment of the quality of education in the country.
He expressed his appreciation to the Government and people of Bauchi State over the immense support the Institute has been receiving on its operations in the State.
1.6 The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, whose address was delivered by Mr. Olu Ilesanmi, Director, Planning Research and Statistics of the Ministry, commended the Institute for taking the initiative of organizing a retreat at this auspicious time that all arms of government were being called upon to do more for their customers and ensure that they got value for money. He reminded the participants that a Service Charter represents a set of promises that customers could expect quality service delivery as of right.
1.7 His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Bauchi State, Alhaji Ahmadu Adamu Muazu, while declaring the Retreat open, described the exercise as timely as the Federal and State Governments had embarked on evolving new social, economic and political reforms. He said that it was in response to the awareness of the important role of education in the development process that he was sparing no effort in improving the quality of education in his state. He assured that all unqualified teachers in the state would be directed to enroll in the NTI programmes. He then directed the State Ministry of Education to liaise with NTI to specifically embark on the training, retraining of all teachers in Bauchi State on an annual basis.
1.8 Presentations by the National Planning Commission and the Office coordinating SERVICOM focused on the National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (NEEDS) and the Role of SERVICOM in the Federal Government reform process respectively.
The Retreat took other presentations and deliberated on the following:
Ãž Examinations and record keeping;
Ãž Quality Assurance in the Institute’s Distance Learning programmes;
Ãž Field Operations, programme delivery and management;
Ãž Financial Guidelines, revenue generation and remittances
Ãž Learner support system, and
Ãž Human resource development and NTI-Stakeholders’ relationship.
2.1 Arising from these deliberations, the participants expressed satisfaction with the progress recorded so far by the Institute in the training, upgrading and the general professional development of teachers in Nigeria. It noted the commitment of the Management and the entire staff of the Institute to provide quality service to the Nigerian public and observed that:
i) public perception of distance learning in Nigeria is yet to come to terms with reality of the fact that Open and Distance Learning can deliver education services that are comparable to those of conventional institutions;
ii) the Institute’s course materials are among the best educational materials available in the local market and are being used extensively in tertiary institutions;
iii) the Institute to date has an unsurpassed record in terms of the integrity of its publicly conducted examinations;
iv) the Institute is one of the few public agencies that have exposed themselves to public scrutiny all in the effort to assure quality in their programmes;
v) the cost of the Institute’s programmes has remained low in order to make them affordable to the Nigerian teachers;
vi) the opportunities offered staff for self improvement through the Institute’s staff development scheme is encouraging;
vii) the efforts of Management to improve its operational efficiency and effectiveness through the acquisition and installation of ICT infrastructure well directed and timely;
viii) the Institute’s Service Delivery Charter is a realistic document that represents its compact with its clientele and that the set targets in the Charter are achievable; and
ix) the Retreat is a useful and effective forum for the Institute to engage in stock-taking and review of its operations.
3.1 Arising from these observations, the participants recommended among others that
i) the Institute should engage in vigorous advocacy and publicity that will enlighten the public on the viability of Open and Distance Learning in the delivery of quality education;
ii) the Institute should establish and strengthen existing partnership with local and international agencies with a view to sharing experience and seeking support for the improvement of its programmes;
iii) the Nigerian communities should be mobilized through Zonal and State Office activities to support the Study Centres and cooperate in eradicating the evils of examination malpractice; and
iv) the Institute should as a matter of urgency develop a training scheme on the use of computer to enable staff take maximum advantage of the installed ICT infrastructure.
4.1 The participants resolved:
i) to rededicate themselves to duty towards the attainment of the Institute’s goal of producing qualified and competent teachers for the country
ii) to provide exemplary leadership in their respective offices which will engender the smooth and effective implementation of Institute’s programmes.
iii) to commit and dedicate themselves to the task of providing quality service to the public, recognizing the fact that by the nature of the operations of the Institute which are field based, the Institute directly in one way or the other affects the lives of many Nigerians.
iv) to support the Government in its on-going reforms aimed at improving the quality of life of its citizenry.
The participants commended the Director and Chief Executive and the Management for organizing the Retreat. They also commended His Excellency, Alhaji Ahmadu Adamu Muazu, the Governor of Bauchi State for his development efforts and his commitment towards the improvement of education in Bauchi State. They expressed their most profound gratitude to the Executive Governor, the Government and people of Bauchi State for their warm reception, hospitality and support for the success of the Retreat. They expressed their appreciation to the Hon. Minister of Education, Prof. Fabian Osuji, the Hon. Minister of State for Education, Hajja Bintu Ibrahim Musa and the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, Mallam Ibrahim Talba for their continued support to the Institute.
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