Dantes Odogwu

The conceptualization of the Delta EduMarshal scheme, otherwise known as DEM under the erstwhile Dr. Emmanuel Ewetan Uduaghan Administration was nurtured by the then Executive Assistant on Education Matters to the former Governor – Ms Stella Blaize.

The entire idea was brewed out of her working experiences in the United Kingdom and her passion for children especially the disadvantaged in the society.

Her interest was kindled by the provisions of the Child Rights in the National Policy on Education and the Child Rights Law (CRL) particularly Part III, sections 3-4 which law was domesticated by the Delta State Government.

OBJECTIVE OF SCHEME- The cardinal focus of the scheme was the eradication of street culture and entrenchment of learning culture amongst school going age children in the State. Hence, it was aimed at supporting the development and sustenance of Education related learning activities in young ones of school age.

Upon assumption of office of the present Administration vis a vis the harsh and challenging economic atmosphere, the Administration took a bold step at reviewing the activities, scheme components, service delivery platforms and authority chains of most adhoc schemes of the previous regime amongst which was the Edumarshal scheme and found out as follows:

1-There was weak recruitment procedure applied in the engagement of the Edumarshal personnel;

2-There was no proper personnel certification and criteria for recruitment especially without the categorization of qualification(s) and professionalism;

3-The remunerations/stipends were highly unstructured without any scale known to either the public or civil service schemes;

4- The promotions/advancements of personnel were improper devoid of established criteria;

5 -Discipline and sundry issues were at the whims and caprices of the State Coordinator without recourse to any Institutional framework.

6- Most of the employees were largely Non Indigenes of Delta State and in most cases over – aged for public service engagement, hence, its adhoc nature;

7- There were only Twenty-five professional Educationists in the scheme out of the One Hundred and Forty-nine (149) personnel engaged;

8- There were perceived challenges/gaps in the system structure and operations;

9- The term of engagement was adhoc, subject to annual renewal (where deemed necessary by Government)
It is also worthy of note that the engagement of the Edumarshals was on annual contractual basis (Renewable where necessary) as indicated in the terms of engagement in the offer letters;

The Edumarshals were neither Political Appointees nor public servants as the salaries were paid from a pooled fund;

Upon disengagement and or determination of the scheme, the personnel are not entitled to any form of severance(s);

The services of the Edumarshals were neither through the Civil Service Commission nor Local Government Service Commission;

The appointments were non pensionable and non-political;

The services of any Edumarshal personnel could be terminated at any point in time (where necessary) especially if it borders on misconduct or the will/discretion of Government.

Sequel to the above, the Delta State Government directed the Ministry of Basic & Secondary Education to execute the unbundling processes with a view to fusing the scheme’s activities/functions (where necessary) into the institutional schedules of the Ministry.

Therefore, it is imperative to note that the decision to unbundle the EduMarshal was taken by the government of Delta State in the overall interest of Deltans.
Gov Okowa remains committed to providing basic infrastructure and manpower needs of educational institutions and his administration will continue to give priority to children’s welfare through provision of quality education and moral uprightness.

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