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By Chioma Okwu

            A wide range evaluation of the governors achievement provides one with enough words to appreciate the governors overwhelming passion in quality education. He has proven to be a strong believer in the "leaders of tomorrow", 'education is key"; quotes.  

The governor’s  unprecedented and enduring feats in the sector have also gone a long way to demonstrate the high premium he places on education as the bedrock of nation building as well as the economic, political and socio-cultural  development of the society. The accomplishments are equally in keeping with his  vision to “deploy government services to create fair and equal opportunity for every willing citizen to make a living and create wealth, educate our children, and enjoy life in a peaceful and secure environment”

Reaffirming his commitment and belief in qualitative, accessible, affordable and inclusive education in the state, the  governor  while commissioning some equipment procured by the state government as well as facilities repairs for teaching and learning in Technical Colleges and Special Science Schools declared that “our best investment is in education”.

      In the past two years, his administration has made concerted efforts, despite the prevailing economic recession, to re-position the state’s education system to improve the standard of learning through the implementation of far reaching reforms as embedded in the four-point agenda. Shortly after he assumed office, the governor  embarked on a program for the renovation, rehabilitation and re-equipment of primary and secondary schools in the state, which were then in dismal and deplorable conditions.

    Sequel to this, he constituted an administrative committee headed by his deputy, Hon. Mrs. Cecilia Ezeilo to ensure the full and proper execution of the development projects of the Enugu State Universal Basic Education Board, ENSUBEB. It's satisfactory  to note that the committee’s assignment has yielded the desired aim resulting to the completion of most of the abandoned projects in some schools. The governor at the inception of his administration also renovated and equipped the sickbay and two classroom blocks at Queen’s School, Enugu, and another 7-classroom block at New Haven Secondary School, Enugu.

     The administration equally procured 10 Braille Machines, Jaw Readers, Desktop Computers and other Accessories for visually-impaired students of the College of Immaculate Conception, CIC, Enugu. The best students are not only formed by the best schools but by the best teachers. The government recruited up to 2000 primary school teachers through ENSUBEB. Under ENSUBEB, the state government  renovated over 348 primary and secondary schools in the state worth N3 billion with the federal government providing 50 percent of the sum. The state government through the Post Primary Schools Management Board, PPSMB, under the Chairmanship of Barr. Nestor Ezeme, had procured 600 computers, 600 computer desks, 600 UPS, 60 power generators and 60 printers for public secondary schools in the state.

     In 2016, 12, 480 furniture, comprising writing desks and chairs were procured for primary school pupils in the state and 868 tables with chairs for teachers, as part of the infrastructural reforms being undertaken by the administration to ensure that pupils and teachers in the state primary school system study under very conducive classroom environment.

    The governor in a bid to provide an enabling environment for workers in the state as part of the government’s efforts to promote job satisfaction, efficiency and productivity among the workers; initiated and relocated the Post Primary Schools Management Board, PPSMB, from the temporal secretariat to a befitting permanent site at Independence Layout, Enugu. The relocation, according to the governor, was “another demonstration of his administration’s resolve to provide quality education for the people of the state”. Worried by the ugly experience that post-primary school teachers in the state have not been promoted since 2013 as most of them approach retirement, the administration approved the release of the 2013 promotion arrears for the affected teachers with financial effect. The approval released stated that  the 2014 promotion arrears would be released with financial effect from September 2017 while that of 2015 will be from December 2017. In keeping with its promise to revamp and re-position  state-owned tertiary institutions,  the Institute of Management and Technology, IMT, Enugu was upgraded to a degree awarding institution through the amendment of the extant laws of the Institute.

    His administration, in spite of the daunting economic recession in the country, released N100 million to the institution to enable it meet the accreditation needs of its courses. The government was and is still assisting heavily in the provision of infrastructure, renovation of dilapidated buildings/ facilities and other logistics needed to improve the quality of learning in the institute.

The government has also extended same to other state’s tertiary institutions, such as the Enugu State Polytechnic, Iwollo and the Enugu State College of Education (Technical), through various interventions aimed at re-positioning and revamping them to be able to award certificates. In this regard, the administration has put in place, machinery to ensure that the Enugu State Polytechnic, Iwollo scales through the accreditation of its new courses by the National Board for Technical Education, NBTE, to be formally listed as a polytechnic. It has also provided necessary funds to enable the Enugu State College of Education (Technical) scale its accreditation hurdles and be in a position to issue certificates which it had not been able to do for nine years because of non-accreditation. The state government had approved the upgrade of the Enugu State College of Education (Technical), Enugu to a University of Education status to specialize in training of teachers in sciences, technology, vocational subjects, arts and social sciences. The government also approved the sum of N200 million for relocation of the institution to Ihe in Awgu Local Government Area to provide enough space for expansion and open up the council area for socio-economic development.

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