by Amb Adichie Izuchukwu
Historically, Anambra is known to be home of some of the most intelligent people, persons like; Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Prof. Kingsley Moghalu, Chinua Achebe, Senator Chuba Okadigbo, Chukwuemeka Ike, Nnamdi Azikiwe, Ukpabi Asika, Emeka Anyaoku, prof. Humphrey Nwosu, Prof Chike Obi, and others.
In Anambra, education is regarded as a vibrant sector, for the public schools the State have about 1,056 primary schools and 262 public secondary schools. The total number of students in the private sector that comprise both the primary and secondary is over 200,000 students, the private schools are vital. The State government does not have a distinction between public and private schools, this is why, educationally, the State is centre of Excellence and a known home for brilliant students since it’s creation.
The increasing intervention in education by His Excellency, Dr. Willie Obiano, since he was elected as a Governor in 2013, on the platform of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), the third largest political party in Nigeria and ruling party in Anambra, has made the State to remain “at the top three” lowest illiteracy states in Nigeria.
However, when it comes to sustainable educational development and policies, make no mistake, Akpokuedike is the man in charge.
This is not open for debate. It’s evidential that the State’s literacy level is comparatively high when compared then and now, and when compared with other States. It is a proven fact that emergent of Governor Obiano has improved tremendously, the value of educational sector in the State, Anambra.
Having been established that the gains from the education of a child benefits not only the child or his family but also contributes to the welfare of other people by promoting a stable and democratic state. On assumption of His Excellency’s office, he prioritized his approaches in education in three dimensional areas- INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT, PUPILS/STUDENTS DEVELOPMENT, AND TEACHERS’ WELFARE.
HIS TRENDING LEGACIES INCLUDE:
1. Obiano’s administration has kept faith with its “No-Child-Left-Behind” policy in education; awarding free education to all physically challenged children in the state.
2. Governor Obiano renovated the State Special Education Center at Isulo, improved their monthly subvention from 50,000 naira to 500,000 naira.
3. Under this administration, annually, selected 100 kids (45 female, 55 male) from areas in Anambra West, Ogbaru, Awka North, Ayamelum are on full scholarship in the state.
4. Akpokuedike has renovated classroom blocks across the 21 Local Government Areas in the state.
5. Having embarked on massive rehabilitation programmes, the State has invested in 65 state-of-the-art science laboratories in secondary schools across Anambra to facilitate studies in the sciences.
6. Teachers who teach core subjects like English, Mathematics and Sciences were placed on a monthly incentive to encourage them.
7. The Governor’s incentives in Education were also extended to teachers handling government-owned schools for the physically challenged in the state.
8. Akpokuedike has open more access to education for children in the riverine parts of the state when he launched 25 speedboats to mark the commencement of modern marine transportation in the state. With the scheme, pupils in riverine areas attends classes in great schools that connect the mainland.
9. This administration also increased the salary of teachers by 15 percent and offered incentives of 20 percent of their basic salaries to teachers deployed to hard-to-reach areas.
10. In April 1, 2020, Governor Obiano’s government became the first in the country to introduce the “Teaching On Air” as effect of Covid-19 global pandemic outbreak.
11. Anambra in 2020, received recommendations from the Better Education Service Delivery ( BESD) board on the introduction and effective delivery of the “Teaching On Air”
12. On assumption of His Excellency in office, none of the existing 11 Technical Colleges in the State had any sort of accreditation. But by 2016, the Willie’s government pressed for and successfully secured National Board for Technical Education’s (NBTE’s) accreditation in 23 key subjects and added another Technical College bringing to total 12 in the state.
13. Under Governor Obiano’s administration, Anambra became listed among the Directory of Technical Colleges in the Country.
14. In a spirited effort to encourage people to attend Tchnical Colleges, the government awarded free education to students in NTC 1 – NTC 3.
15. This administration has partnership with the private sector such as Innoson Vehicles for Technical College Students who majored in Vehicle Body Building and Maintenance as a course.
16. The Obiano’s government introduced TIWES in the National Council of Education. Tiwes is Teachers’ Industrial Work Experience.
17. Governor Obiano set a record in Anambra State when he sent 23 teachers to Singapore to undergo training in Technical and Vocational Education in April 2015.
18. The State under Governor Obiano has disbursed sums of billions intervention funds to mission schools for support in renovations, purchases and welfare of teachers.
19. Under the administration of His Excellency, Chief (Dr.) willie M. Obiano, Anambra State has continued to live up to its motto of Light of the Nation. The State’s schools, students and teachers have won national and international awards due to the aggressive and massive attention given to education by this government. Some of the laurels include:
(a) Team Anambra emerged winners of the 2015 Inter Basic Debate Competition.
(b) Maiden edition of the Nigerian Breweries’ Maltina 2016 Teacher of the Year Award.
(c) 2017 Federal Ministry of Education President’s Teachers and School Award for primary school teachers.
(d) Students of Regina Pacies Secondary School Onitsha, who represented Nigeria and Africa at the World Technovation Challenge in the Silicon Valley in San Francisco won Gold Medal in 2018.
(e) Students Advancement Global Entrepreneurship (SAGE) competition.
(f) 2019 Federal Ministry of Education President’s Teachers and School Award for primary and secondary school teachers.
(g) Anambra students won bronze medal in Tunisia at the International Festival of Engineering, Science and Technology (IFEST) competition.
(h) Winners in National Essay competition.
(i) Science Teachers Association of Nigeria(STAN) Project competition.
(j) 2020 Presidential award for the best Private schools in Nigeria.
(k) Winners in 2019 National Congress of ANCOPSS Essay writing competition.
(l) Top student in 2020 West African School Certificate Examination.
(m) Top student in 2020 National Common Entrance Examination.
Great performance by the Anambra students, teachers and schools have already consolidated the State reputation as Nigeria’s most educationally competitive state and prove of the legacies we cherish as #ObianoInUs.