Governor Eno’s United Kingdom Education Exchange Program for Public Senior Secondary Schools

… Seeking knowledge beyond textbooks

By Anietie Edet Etim

The United Kingdom Akwa Ibom Education Exchange Program for Senior Secondary Schools is a transformative initiative for public schools.

Governor Umo Eno, during his election campaign, had promised to revive public education in Akwa Ibom State.

This program aims to foster greater mutual understanding and cultural awareness among students from different backgrounds, thereby promoting peace and development.

Student exchanges have become increasingly popular since World War II as a way to promote cross-cultural understanding, tolerance, language skills, and social development.

In October, 2023 the United States was the top host destination for international students worldwide. In 2022, around 950,000 students were enrolled in higher education in the U.S.. Furthermore, more than 630,000 and 550,000 international students enrolled in the United Kingdom and Canada, respectively.

The number of student exchanges has continued to grow, especially after the Cold War. These exchanges usually last between 6 to 12 months, but students also have the option to participate for just one semester.

The exchange program of Governor Eno’s vision, is the way of breaking the cycle of barriers to encourages rural brilliant students in the senior secondary category from public schools in Akwa Ibom State to learn new things with partner schools in the United kingdom, allowing students to immerse themselves in different cultures and ways of life. Its involves living and studying alongside their international counterparts. Students gain a deeper appreciation for diversity and develop the skills necessary to navigate an increasingly interconnected world.

Furthermore, the program also addresses the goal of education for development by equipping students with the necessary skills to tackle global challenges. By engaging in cross-cultural activities, students develop critical thinking, problem-solving, and conflict resolution skills. These skills are essential for the sustainable development of societies and are crucial in creating a more peaceful and equal world.

I appreciate the governor’s initiative and I am eagerly anticipating positive outcomes for these students.

It is an opportunity for these students to excel academically and broaden their perspectives.

During a rigorous selection process, best preforming schools in SS2 across the 31 local government areas were invited, a total of 271 students participated in a “paper-based examination.” From the public schools across the state, the Commissioner for Education, Idongesit Etiebet, selected the top three students from each school. This selection was confirmed by James Edet, the permanent secretary of the ministry of information. Additionally, it was announced that 31 students will be chosen for the programme based on their performance in the paper-based examination.

Foreign exchange programs provide students with an opportunity to study in another country and experience a different environment. These programs provide opportunities that may not be available in the participant’s home country, such as learning about the history and culture of other countries and meeting new friends to enrich their personal development. International exchange programs are also effective to challenge students to develop a global perspective.

The financial burden of travel expenses will not fall on the students or their families. The government of Governor Umo Eno will handle and fund all aspects of the exchange program including passports, student visas, airfare, food, health insurance, and accommodation.

This opportunity is not only about academic development, but also about boosting the spirit of diversity. By exposing these intelligent students to learn new ideas and skills while in the United kingdom, the exchange program will cement a broader understanding and appreciation for diverse cultures and perspectives. This will contribute to the personal growth and global awareness of the participants.

Upon their return to the state, the students will serve as representatives of their families, communities, and the state as a whole. They will be equipped with new knowledge and experiences that can inspire and motivate other students to take their education dreams seriously. These returning students will become change agents, showcasing the power of education and demonstrating that academic excellence is attainable, regardless of one’s geographical location.

Governor Eno’s United Kingdom Exchange Program is a well planned initiative and it will improve perception about public secondary schools in the state. The participants will return to their communities as ambassadors of knowledge, inspiring others to pursue their educational dreams and strive for excellence.


Comrade Anietie Edet Etim is the President, Team Up Connections for Umo Eno support group.

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