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*Nigeria: Governor Obi Does It Again
By Clement Obum
On Monday November 21, a history of monumental proportions was recorded in Anambra State. It was a day all public primary schools in the state previously run by the missions were returned to their rightful owners. We are talking about 1040 primary schools scattered across the state.
As was the case when Obi’s administration handed over about 50 secondary schools to the missions, the new owners will see to the daily administration of their schools while the government will supervise and pay the teachers.
But that is not all. Under this new arrangement, government will spend 6 Billion Naira on the primary schools handed over to the missions. This cover their maintenance and is beside the salaries of the teachers which the state government will be taking care of.
Obi’s gesture is significant as it was the first time it happened in the new Anambra State. It also came at a time when our society is in dire need of moral rejuvenation. In the past we all knew how our parents fared under the tutelage of the missionaries. Discipline and good morals were the order of the day and the result impacted very positively on the society. ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: Governor Peter Obi
Today, however, the reverse has since become the case. Children have increasingly rebelled against their parents and teachers and the crime rate has continued to soar. This is because no one has cared to address the root cause of the problem.
After handing over some secondary schools to the missions, Governor Obi has observed tremendous signs that the future will be bright again. He is pleased about the way those schools have responded to the change of guards so far and because of this he has been encouraged to go another step by replicating what he experimented with the secondary schools at the primary school level. By so doing, he simply applied the catch them young slogan.
Obi’s current gesture is only a part of the tremendous achievements he has wrought in the state’s education sector. It is an undisputable fact that the education sector has witnessed a revolution under the Obi administration. It is under his administration that secondary school students in public schools in the state saw computers for the first time. The government first provided computer desk tops and later added lap tops to schools. It made it possible for many students, especially those in rural areas, to acquaint themselves with computers and actualise what they had dreamed of but never seeing. ( Continues below..... )
He was the first governor in the state to dig bore holes, provide generators and donate buses to secondary schools in Anambra State. Before then students, especially females, had been at risk each time they foraged for water in town and many of them had been molested in the process by criminal elements.
Obi’s administration has also blazed the trail in Anambra State by building for the first time a classroom of five blocks in each of the 177 communities of the state.
At the tertiary level, the story has been the same. He has positively turned around the fortunes of the state university by helping it to get accreditation in many disciplines. He has equally sunk money into the infrastructural development of the university’s two campuses which were virtually empty before he assumed office and is currently embarking on a massive development of its permanent site at Igbariam.
The Obi administration has today turned the state’s College of Agriculture at Mgbakwu from an abandoned, rodent-infested site to a thriving institution worthy of its name. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: Map of Anambra State, Nigeria.
His government has elevated primary school teachers beyond grade level 14; He has recruited more than 2, 000 teaching and non-teaching staff; he has trained more than 12, 000 classroom teachers and school managers; he has renovated more than 10, 000 classrooms through intervention funds; among other gestures.
It is on record that the first Anambra State library outside the one last built in 1966 is being built in Awka today by the Obi administration.
It is therefore not for nothing that the Obi administration is regarded as one of the most education-friendly governors in Nigeria and the handing over of all public primary schools formerly owned by the missions back to them is a vindication of this assertion.
It is however necessary at this juncture to urge the benefiting missions to justify the confidence reposed in them by not just utilising the funds to be given them by the government very well, but to impact the needed and expected change on the children under their care. To whom much is given, much is equally expected.
Clement Obum wrote from Nnobi, Anambra State, Nigeria.
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