FCTA stresses need for accurate data collection

THE Permanent Secretary of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), Mr Chinyeaka Ohaa, has stressed the need for accurate data collection for proper planning and development of the education sector.

The Permanent Secretary stated this at the flag-off of the 2018/2019 FCT Annual School Census (ASC) in Abuja.

Ohaa called on all principals of schools in the FCT to ensure that accurate, valid and reliable data of their schools were made available on time.

“Every school head or principal, including the military, paramilitary, federal unity colleges and private schools are expected to provide all requested information on learners, teachers, infrastructure, facilities, programmes and activities of their various schools,” stressing that “every child must be counted.”

The permanent secretary warned that it was illegal to falsify data submitted for the purpose of the school census, adding that such offence carries a heavy penalty.

He debunked the misconception that data gathered during the exercise would be used to levy schools, noting  that  information gathered would be utilized for policy formulation, decision making and planning purposes only.

“I cannot emphasise enough that collection of data is for policy formulation, decision making and planning purposes only. It is certainly not for school levy or other misconceived purposes. In the coming weeks, the exercise will begin all over the territory and I call on all stakeholders to cooperate fully with officials carrying out this exercise in all the educational establishments all over the FCT,” he said.

Earlier in his welcome address, the Director, Administration and Finance of the education secretariat, Alhaji Umar Marafa, represented by the deputy director in charge of administration, Mr. Abdulrazak Leramoh, had said the exercise would be carried out in all basic and post basic schools across the six Area Councils of the FCT.

He urged all school heads and principals to work with officers of the Department of Policy Planning, Research and Statistics (DDPR&S) of the secretariat towards achieving the objective of the exercise.

He, however, commended the United Nations Children’s Education Fund (UNICEF) and the Federal Ministry of Education for supporting the secretariat in carrying out the school census.

Also speaking, the Acting Director, Department of Policy Planning, Research and Statistics (DPPRS), Dr. Sunday Idakwoji, stressed the need for collaboration and cooperation among education stakeholders for the success of the exercise which, he said, was aimed at improving educational data collection and management in the FCT for better planning.

He said measures had been taken to ensure that data collected are accurate, reliable and up to date.

The Annual School Census is a fallout of the Nigeria Education Management Information System (NEMIS) policy of 2007 aimed at improving collection of education data to achieve higher educational objectives.

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