Ministry of Education

GOVERNOR OBIANO’S ACHIEVEMENT IN EDUCATION

1.GOVERNOR OBIANO’S ACHIEVEMENT IN EDUCATION

In line with the strategic objectives of the education sector in Governor Willie Obiano’s blueprint for development,the Anambra State Ministry of Education has the mandate of ensuring that the learning needs of all are met and making Anambra State one of the three top States in Nigeria with the lowest illiteracy rate.

With Education  occupying a vantage position as the key enabler to the four pillars of development, efforts have been geared towards achieving the desired goals.Achievements in the last twenty months no doubt have been monumental from three points thrust:

  1. Teachers’ welfare
  2. Pupils/students’ welfare
  3. Infrastructure/development
TEACHERS’ WELFARE

2.TEACHERS’ WELFARE

Gov. Willie Obiano’s realization that teachers have pivotal roles to play in driving the process of providing world class education to Umuakwukwo ndi Anambra, led the present administration to start from day one to make teachers happy. For Gov. Obiano’s administration, teachers’ welfare rank very high. The son of a teacher himself, Obiano is passionate about enhancing the welfare package of teachers and instituting better incentives. He says in His blueprint on education;

STRATEGY:

“Introduction of rigorous recruitment exercise and reverse remuneration for teachers to attract the best resources in Nigeria across all level of education. Employ over 5,000 additional teachers to ensure pupils to teacher ratio improves from 24:1 to 15:1”.Religiously, the administration is implementing this strategy in the following ways:

  • Completion of the deployment of 3000 NCE holders to various primary schools on 1st April 2014, thereby reducing staff vacancies existing in our primary schools especially those in rural areas.
  • Donation of the sum of N4.3million in support of the 2013 World Teachers’ Day.
  • Donation of the sum of N10million to support the completion of the NUT House and additional support of N15million to complete the teachers’ house project.
  • Donation of a 150KVA Generator to power the building.
  • Promotion of teachers to SGL 16.
  • Sponsorship of 400 teachers to the STAN conference, and donation of ₦5 million for the conference logistics.
  • Commissioning of the PPSSC Awka Zonal office building.

Further Incentives to Teachers include:

  • Payment of ₦3000 as allowances to teachers of core subjects of English Language, Mathematics and the Sciences.
  • Payment of 20% of basic salary to all teachers in the hard to staff/rural areas.
  • 15% increment in all teachers’ salaries from January 2015. The beauty of this is that teachers least expected the increase.
  • Arrears of promotion for tutorial and non-tutorial staff approved.The exercise has boosted the morale of teachers and has resulted in improved performance and productivity.
  • Regular and timely payment of salaries have been sustained.
  • Appointment of Education Secretaries to oversee the affairs of primary education in 21LGAs
  • Improvedsalary package for NwaforOrizu College of Education Staff through improved subvention. In doing this, His Excellency has written his name in gold in the hearts of the College’s Staff
  • Improved subvention for ChukwuemekaOdumegwuOjukwu (COOU) – The State University
  • Constituted visitation panels to COOU and NOCEN. This is to ensure transparency in the conduct of affairs in the institutions – a process that has remained largely neglected. The white paper on the visitation panel has been released.
  • The governing council of the two state’s institutions COOU and NOCEN have been constituted and councils in both institutions have taken off.
PUPILS/STUDENTS’ WELFARE

3.PUPILS/STUDENTS’ WELFARE

The welfare of Pupils and students of Anambra state occupy a central position in all activities of the present administration in the education sector. This is in line with Gov. Obiano’s desire to provide world class education to the children of Anambra State. The results have been;

  1. Massive infrastructural development and improvement in schools.
  2. Scholarship for brilliant indigent children- as over 150 indigent children have received scholarship awards. The last 72 recipients included the orphans of Late Mr. Okpala, a lecturer at NnamdiAzikiweUniversity,Awka.Physically challenged children are also beneficiaries of Gov. Willie Obiano’s scholarship awards.
    PUPILS-STUDENTS-WELFARE
    Members of Anambra State Junior Debate Team are among the beneficiaries of Gov. Willie Obiano’s scholarship awards. The team Anambra defeated the 36 States including Abuja, in the National President’s Junior Debate Competition and won the ticket to represent Nigeria in the 2015 Winter Holiday Open Debate competition in Croatia.In line with the existing scholarship policy in the State, His Excellency Chief Dr. Willie Obiano has also continued the award of scholarship to indigent, traumatized, physically challenged and award winning students. Among the beneficiaries of the scholarship grants include those in primary, secondary and tertiary levels. Worthy of mention are those who have been victims of Boko Haram and other accidents.
  3. Students of NTC I- NTC III in technical colleges also enjoy tuition free education.
INFRASTRUCTURE

4.INFRASTRUCTURE

The development and improvement of infrastructure in schoolsarealso aimed at achieving the welfare of the children and providing world class education to umuakwukwondiAnambra. Some of the activities carried out so far include: completion of fencing in ten (10) girls boarding schools, Supply of white boards to schools, Installation of Firefighting equipment in schools, Provision of sick bay in schools – N1m has been released to 420 public and private secondary schools for the equipping of the sick bay and provision of sports equipment. All sick bay in secondary schools have been upgraded with the fund provided. All these are part of the initiatives embarked upon by the present administration to ensure the safety of our children, and they are referred to as the ‘safe school initiatives’.

Fencing-completed-at-Girls-Sec-Sch-Awka-Etiti
Fencing completed at Girls’ Sec. Sch. Awka-Etiti

Still under infrastructure, government has:

  • Supplied laptop computers to public schools and 220 private schools.
  • Supplied quality books and instructional materials for quality education.
  • Provided fund for sports equipment and establishment of functional libraries.
  • Constructed new standard school blocks and renovated dilapidated ones, to enhance conducive learning. Over 1500 units of class room blocks are spread across the 21 local governments in the State.
  • Completion of provision of generating sets to 420 schools in the State: 50KVA (110 Schools), and 30KVA (310 Schools)
  • Acquisition of 3 new schools, Ebe Unity College, Ukpor – Nnewi South LGA, and Anthony Obaze Community Secondary School Ochuche, Ogbaru LGA.
  • Plans have gone far for the acquisition of a secondary school in Ndiukwuenu – a town in Orumba North that has been deprived of secondary schools and where the next town with a secondary is up to 14 kilometers away.
  • Acquired over 500,000 copies of textbooks for distribution to school libraries (in collaboration with Ihezue foundation UK). Equipping of Community Education Resource Center (CERC), Okpuno with 250 internet ready laptops for CBT, the center is ready for examinations
  • Retooling of 60 Science laboratories in secondary schools- in the first phase of the project is ongoing.

Renovation-of-school-at-Girls-Sec-Sch-Awka-Etiti
Renovation of school

Renovation-of-school-at-Girls-Sec-Sch-Awka-Etiti2

CAPACITY BUILDING

5.Other areas in which His Excellency, Chief Dr. Willie Obiano has repositioned the education sector.

Include:

  • Capacity building
  • Observance of standard and best practices
  • Sponsorship of students to competitions
  • Access and equity
  • Education and Industry in the state

 CAPACITY BUILDING

The saying that we do not have dull students but dull classrooms rings so true. This is why capacity building for teachers is a serious aspect of the Obiano’s administration. Training is done in both at the Ministry’s level and in collaboration with other partners. Gov. Obiano has vowed to:

“Entrench basic ICT into all programs at all levels and curricula. Continue with ICT projects – computer for every teacher by 2015 and hand held devices for students by 2018”

  • 23 officials of Anambra State Government including Teachers and Principals of Technical Colleges visited Singapore to under-study their best practices in the management of Technical and Vocational education
  • Incorporation of computer training in the 2015/2016 school calendar
  • In collaboration with Microsoft, teachers are being trained in ICT
  • A scheme in place for every teacher to own a laptop
  • Teachers being trained in e governance, administrative and managerial skills
    CAPACITY-BUILDING
  • Continuous capacity building for teachers in Curriculum, Ethics, Pedagogy etc.
  • Literacy Enhancement and Achievement Project (LEAP).In collaboration with the Reading Association of Nigeria, driving the Literacy Enhancement and Achievement Project (LEAP) in 3 LGAs of the State where teachers and students are being exposed to critical and analytical thinking in English, Mathematics and Sciences.
  • One day stakeholders’ sensitization meeting on implementation of Public Private Partnership.
  • Training of ZDE’s, Principals, V. Principals, Staff, PPSSC, EDC (in collaboration with ASA-USA and PPSSC) (5TH – 7TH August, 2014.)
  • Emphasis on culture and language is sustained
  • Desk office for Igbo language and culture established
  • Training workshop for teachers on the promotion of Igbo language and culture in three senatorial zones of the State
  • 2015 Children’s Cultural Carnival organized in commemoration of His Excellency’s one year in office

culture-and-language

  • Training of State high level Education Officials by Anambra experts in Diaspora (ASA-USA) on modern trends in the education sector.
  • Training of teachers in emergency preparedness and response.
STANDARD AND BEST PRACTICES

6.STANDARD AND BEST PRACTICES

  • Purchase of 6 Nos. Hilux project vehicles to facilitate project monitoring and supervision in schools.
  • Keying into Quality Assurance guidelines in school inspection.
  • Re-accreditation of private schools in the state to ensure quality and best practices
  • Sponsorship of the Ministry of Education to the Joint Consultative Council on Education (JCCE).
  • Committee on cultism in higher institutions set up
  • Interactive session with the students leaders on establishing a lasting measure against cultism
  • Close monitoring of examination centers and schools to check exam malpractices and naming and shaming of culprits.
  • Production of hand books on ethics
  • Closure of illegal schools and malpractice centers (35 nos. closed so far)
  • Close partnership with missions. N733 million released to the Anglican and Catholic missions for renovation of schools handed over to them.

STANDARD-AND-BEST-PRACTICES

SPONSORING OF STUDENTS TO COMPETITIONS

Following the sponsorship by Gov. Obiano, Anambra State has participated in most competitions and received laurels for impressive performances. The competitions include:

  • NNPC National Quiz Competition for the South East Zone at Umuahia
  • 1st and 3rd stages of NMC National Mathematics Olympiad at Anambra, and Abuja.
  • Zonal level of Cowbell Mathematics Competition at Enugu in March,and May, 2014 respectively.
  • Nigeria Institute of Physics National Competition at University of Uyo 26th May 2014.
  • Second Position in the 2014 Nigerian Stock Exchange Essay Competition in Lagos in December, 2014.

LAURELS BESTOWED

  • 1st in WAEC and NECO for three consecutive years
  • 1st in 2014 Presidential Junior Debate to mark 50th Anniversary of Nigeria
  • 1st in 2015 ANCOPSS National Quiz competition
  • 2nd in 2014 National School Sports festival in Markudi
  • 1st in 2015 Presidents School Debate Competition and represented Nigeria in the World Schools Debate Competition held in Singapore.
  • 1st in 2015 National Science Project Exhibition Competition and represented Nigeria at the International Science Project Exhibition Competition in Mexico in November, 2015.
  • The Anambra State Junior Debate team won the ticket to represent Nigeria in 2015 Winter Holiday Open School Debate in Croatia, having defeated all other states and the FCT.
  • 2015 Best Junior Secondary School in Nigeria (QRC Onitsha).
  • 2015 Best Junior Secondary School in Nigeria (Loretto Special Science School, Adazi).
  • 2015 Best Primary School in Nigeria (Sancta Maria Primary School, Onitsha).
ACCESS AND EQUITY IN EDUCATION

7.ACCESS AND EQUITY IN EDUCATION

Special Education

  • His Excellency has vowed to prepare an all-inclusive education master plan to drive further development and progress within the sector. It is a known fact that special education has hitherto been a neglected area before the Obiano administration. The state at present has three special education centers – School of the Deaf and Dumb
  • feeding subventions for the special education centres in Anambra state have been increased from N50, 000 to N1.5 million naira.
  • Improvement of infrastructure at Special Education Centre, Isulo.
  • Free education for students of special education centers in Anambra State
  • Boy-child education —- every new market to have a school.
  • Deployment of teachers to rural areas

ADULT AND NON-FORMAL EDUCATION

His Excellency has stated categorically in the blueprint on education that he will “ensure that the learning needs of all are met through equitable distribution of resources and will be one of the three top states with the lowest illiteracy rate. Adult and Non-formal Education is one sure way of meeting this. The Agency for Mass Literacy, Adult and Non-formal Education (AANFE) sub-sector established under LAW 1 of 1993 addresses the educational needs of children, youths and adults with respect to those who did not have the opportunity of acquiring formal education, those who dropped – out- of – school through various programmes. The Agency coordinates the Adult and Non-formal Education activities in 6 Education zones in the 21 LGAs. Facilitators are used for teaching and learning in the 11 market schools and 285 learning centers with 26, 956 learners.

Some of the learning centers include: Agbaedo market Center Nnewi, Bridge head Center Onitsha, Trinity Primary School IgboezunuAguleri, St. Mary’s Center Ifitedunu. Union School Center AdaziNnukwu, Ezinato Center, Awka.

Other achievements of Gov.Obiano’s administration in this sub-sector include:

  • Supported the hosting of the National Mass Education Commission’s scale up training of 100 facilitators in the south east zone on revitalizing adult and youth literacy.

training-session-for-facilitators
A training session for facilitators of Adult Learners.

  • Hosting of the 2014 International literacy day in Anambra State with 36 States including FCT participating.
  • Scale up training for 100 facilitators on revitalizing youth and adult literacy in south east zone for improved teaching and learning in the centers (bringing to 120 the number of Anambra facilitators trained).
  • Establishing Adult and Non-formal Education data base for informed planning and improved adult and non-formal education (AANFE) delivery
  • Continued community sensitization and mobilization for increased learner enrolment and community participation in AANFE programmes.
  • Community dialogue in 177 communities in Anambra State on back-to-school programmes and providing safe learning spaces for out-of-school children aimed at addressing drop-out menace and identifying safe learning spaces in communities.
  • One major problem with adult learning is poor eye sight. The State Government supported 420 adult learners in 21 LGAs to have free eye test and treatment by supplying eye glasses and drugs as applicable to fast track His Excellency’s strategic objective of the State being ‘one of the top 3 with lowest illiteracy rate in the country’.
STRENGTHENING SCHOOL MANAGEMENT

8.STRENGTHENING SCHOOL MANAGEMENT

  • The Obiano administration has the strategy of “Establishing parents/teachers school board in all senatorial zones in the State”
  • To this end, we have established functional School Based Management Committees (SBMC) in primary and secondary schools. Training have been organized for them on how they can effectively run a transparent school government. To support the SBMCs, the government has disbursed N250, 000 and N500, 000 (a total of 154, 100, 000 annually) to 1,044 primary and 256 secondary schools in the State respectively. This is to aid them not just in the day to day running of the schools, but in doing minor purchases and repairs.
  • Establishment of migrant farmers and fishermen’s schools
  • Girl-child education —– ongoing intervention in the highly affected LGAs of Ayamelum, Anambra East, Anambra West and Ogbaru. Efforts are on to address this anomaly, and activities so far have elicited international collaborations. The Thai Ambassador to Nigeria, His Excellency, ChailetLimsonboon had earlier visited to explore further areas of intervention.
    Visit of the Thailand Ambassador to Anambra State
    Visit of the Thailand Ambassador to Anambra State.
  • State Education Project Implementation Programme (SEPIP).This is a World Bank assisted programme which is also facilitating the efforts of Gov. Willie Obiano at improving access to education, in line with the Disbursement Link Indicators. Technical and vocational education are some areas of interest of the project.
VOCATIONAL AND TECHNICAL EDUCATION

9.VOCATIONAL AND TECHNICAL EDUCATION

It is in Technical and Vocational Education (TVET) that the WilieObiano administration is gradually making its mark in the footprints of time. At inception, the 11 technical colleges in the state were at their lowest ebb. None had accreditation. Our Technical and Vocational Colleges offer a great opportunity to produce fit-for-purpose, indigenous human resources that will enable our focus on Agriculture, Oil and Gas, Trade and Commerce and Industrilization (The 4 Pillars) to yield the desired outcomes that will improve the quality of life of the local populace (To ensure that our Technical and Vocational Colleges are positioned to meet our needs, this administration conducted a thorough Needs Assessment of all the Colleges and developed strategies to meet the challenges.) They include:

  • Free tuition for students in NTC 1 – 3 to tackle the low intake of students at NTC 1 and high attrition rate in the final year (NTC 3).
  • Bridge programme to tackle the disconnect between the Colleges and the local Industries.
  • Establishment of a partnership between Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing Company Nnewi, Federal Polytechnic, Oko and the Technical and Vocational Colleges
  • More partnership with companies in areas of hospitality and construction underway
  • Local and International capacity building programmes for the said teachers to improve quality of delivery.
  • Teachers of technical colleges were sent to Singapore to study best practices on the management of technical and vocational education.
  • Purchase of equipment for Vehicle Body Building Works course to be accredited in Government Technical Colleges, Nnewi. Nigeria Board of Technical Education (NBTE) is on a resource verification visit.
    Students of the Electrical department, GTC Onitsha in a practical session
    Students of the Electrical department, GTC Onitsha in a practical sessionMechanical Class session at GTC Onitsha
    Mechanical Class session at GTC Onitsha.
EDUCATION AND INDUSTRY

10.EDUCATION AND INDUSTRY

  • Public Private Partnership (PPP) – Signing of MOU between State Government, Innoson and Federal Poly Oko for the training of our technical colleges on auto body motor maintenance.education industry obiano
    This has resulted in the students of our technical colleges having their practical sessions at the INNOSSON motor vehicle manufacturing company in Nnewi.A practical session of GTC students atInnoson vehicle factory Nnewi
    A practical session of GTC students atInnoson vehicle factory, Nnewi.
ENGAGEMENT OF STAKE HOLDERS

11.ENGAGEMENT OF STAKE HOLDERS

  • Engagement of pupils, students, teachers and parents of Central School and Community Secondary School as well as Emmanuel Children School, Igbedor (A very rural riverine community in Anambra West Local Government). The Atta Okakwu, Eze Chigbata Mordi and his community members were also engaged, on the need to send their children to school.The HC on the river Niger a boat ride to Igbedor for a community engagement session
    The HC on the river Niger, a boat ride to Igbedor for a community engagement session.
  • HC engaging the women of Igbedor in discussions

HC engaging the women of Igbedor in discussions

UNIZIK VC CALLS FOR RECOGNITION OF TEACHERS AS CHARACTER MOULDERS

12.UNIZIK VC CALLS FOR RECOGNITION OF TEACHERS AS CHARACTER MOULDERS

By Mike Ezenwata : 

The Vice Chancellor of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Professor Joseph Ahaneku has called for the recognition of teachers as number one in the placement of priorities in the country given their strategic role as moulders of characters.

Professor Ahaneku made the call in Awka during the 2016 National Conference organized by the department of educational foundations, Faculty of Education of the university.

Represented by the Deputy Vice Chancellor Administration of the University, Professor Carol Umeobi, the Vice Chancellor wondered why teachers should be relegated to the background given their pivotal roles in the formation of the characters and the education of people of substances in the society.

According to professor Ahaneku, the teaching profession should be given its pride of place for the notion to move forward.

Speaking on the theme of the conference, “Education for wholesome development in Nigeria”, the head of department, Educational Foundations Professor Ngozi Agu regretted that Nigeria not minding its big stature in Africa is weighed down by several situations that portray it as unwholesome and problematic.

According to Professor Agu, the world economic order, the socio-religious practices, amongst others inflict avoidable hardship on the Nigerian Children, the youths and the aged.

She called on stakeholders in education to create a plan for an educational system that can make Nigeria’s development wholesome and therapeutic.

On her part, a professor in the department of educational management and policy, professor Vivian Nwogbo stressed the need for education for sustainability to be pursued vigorously to enhance wholesome development in the nation.

In a lead paper presentation, professor Okechukwu Abonyi of the Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki identified some factors militating against wholesome development in Nigeria such as poor economy, inequality in the system, reduced lifespan through frustration,  misplacement of priorities in terms of appointments, emphasis on certificates, among other indices.

Professor Abonyi recommended performance evaluation, curriculum enrichment, entrepreneurial advancement, amongst others to foster wholesome development.

Contributing, an award recipient and the managing Director, Daniels construction company Limited, Engineer Daniel Ekene Nkwonta who hails from Enugukwu, decried the poor economic state of the nation which he said the Buhari led administration is fighting through his campaign against corruption which is catching up with some nation’s looters.

Engineer Nkwonta suggested that Nigeria should stop importationof all kinds of things and utilize its men and material resources to develop within.

He commended the governor Willie Obiano administration in Anambra State for providing a sound security network which is investment friendly, and further used the opportunity to call on  governors of the South East geo-political zone to galvanize Igbos to a round table conference to look inwards with a view to being a strong voice in Nigeria.

UNN ALUMNI CONFERS EXCELLENCE AWARD ON OBIANO

14. UNN ALUMNI CONFERS EXCELLENCE AWARD ON OBIANO

By John Ndu

Executives of the University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN) Alumni Association has conferred an award to Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State Governor for his Good Governance and Community Development.

Members of the National Executive of the  Association announced this when they visited the governor at the Governor’s Lodge, Amawbia.

Governor Obiano while addressing the executives described Anambra as the safest state in the country, saying his government had transformed the state through his developmental blueprints.

Chief Obiano said his administration had presently embarked on massive street lighting projects across the state to add to its aesthetic value.

The National President of the Association, Barr Andrew Oru, said the association always converge annually for a general meeting in a state of its choice and at the end, pay loyalty visit to the governor of the State.

Mr Oru said the essence of choosing Anambra this year for their meeting was because of the dynamic leadership and development strides which the Obiano led administration has introduced in the state.

The President commended governor Obiano, saying they had enjoyed adequate peace and security since their stay in Awka.

He also appealed to the Governor to give directives to facilitate the issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy on the land allocated to the association as well as provide them with some logistics to enhance their various activities.

In his vote of thanks, the Awka Branch President of the Association, Mr Onyeka Okonkwo while appreciating the governor said the Land when developed would strengthen the activities of the association .

Prof. Omenugha flags off distribution of learning materials to Adult Learning

13. Prof. Omenugha flags off distribution of learning materials to Adult Learning

By Ebele Iyke Odili : The honorable commissioner for Education, Professor Kate Omenugha, yesterday, at the state Agency for mass literary, Adult and Non-formal Education, flagged off the distribution of one hundred standard learning desk and two hundred and eighty six Rechargeable lanterns which were to be shared to various Adult learning centres in the state, to encourage learners at the centres to be more productive. Professor Omenugha who reemphasized the commitments of the present administration in making the Education sector of the state the best in the country, disclosed that the gesture is part of Governor Obiano’s efforts to providing an enabling and conducive environment for learning/teaching in the state.

She commended the efforts and teaming spirit amongst the officials and staff of the Agency for mass literacy and urged them to keep the flag flying by being more proactive in helping the state government to achieve literacy in the state. Proff. Omenugha, then urged Learners and facilitators at the centres to make judicious use of the items.

The Acting Executive Secretary/Director of the Agency, Mr Donatus Nwosu eulogized our Dynamic Executive Governor Chief Willie Obiano, for his consistent desire to place Education at the fore front of His administration, hence the continuous massive provision of resource materials for teaching and learning at the various learning centres. Mr Nwosu further commended His Excellency for his recent provision of fund for construction and erection of signposts at all the learning centres of Adults and Non formal Education state wide.

Mr Ekene Ilozumba, Head of Administration of the Agency thanked the Honorable commissioner for her timely visit and promised on behalf of the state Agency, that the present AANFE is determined to maintain and improve on its present ranking as one of the best four states in good management and administration of Adult and Non formal Education subsector in Nigeria.

NNAMDI AZIKIWE UNIVERSITY TO HOST A NATIONAL CONFERENCE IN EDUCATION

14. NNAMDI AZIKIWE UNIVERSITY TO HOST A NATIONAL CONFERENCE IN EDUCATION

By Michael Ezenwata

The Nnamdi Azikiwe University faculty of Education is organizing a national conference with the theme “Education in the period of Economic recession”.

According to the chairman local organizing committee of the conference professor Uche Obidiegwu, the conference will commence on the 27th of April, 2017 with the keynote speaker professor G.O Akpa from the Taraba state University, and the lead paper presenter, Professor Grace Offoma of the University of Nigeria expected to grace the occasion.

Others expected during the conference according to professor Obidiegwu, include the Commissioner for Education, professor Kate Omenugha, the vice chancellor of NAU, Professor Joseph Ahaneku, and scholars from different parts of Nigeria.

Briefing the press on the theme of the conference, professor Obidiegwu who is the director of sandwich unit of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka campus noted that economic recession affects education and is characterized by financial crisis, fall in demand, decline in bank lending, fall in real wages and consumer confidence.

According to her, recession also affects education funding, teaching, research, and community service.

She therefore advocated creativity and innovation in schools and out of school as well as government establishment of community learning centres as measures to face the challenges of the recession.

EX STUDENTS CALL ON FG TO UPGRADE OKO POLY.

15. EX STUDENTS CALL ON FG TO UPGRADE OKO POLY.

 Gloria Anaeze Onitsha

Ex-students of Federal Polytechnic, Oko, have lent their voice to the clamour for speedy upgrade of the institution to university status, as they called on the federal government to put motion in place towards actualization of the project.

The Spokesperson of the group and National President of the institution’s alumni association, Comrade Luke Nweke, said it was their wish that the institution be upgraded given the level of its infrastructural and academic development.

According to Nweke ” It is the wish of all the alumni of this great institution that this polytechnic grows to a point of emerging as a university given the level of infrastructural and academic development with our individual and collective effort as a committee, this would soon become a mean achievement”.

Comrade Nweke, who was speaking in Awka during the inauguration of Central Working Committee of the association, expressed optimism that the objective would be realized as members of the association would contribute their quota towards the project in terms of infrastructure.

He listed some of the on-going projects being executed by the body in the institution to include, hostels, secretariat complex, adding that more branches would be set up to further strengthen the association for more exploits.

The Spokesperson also   called on members to be proactive in their advisory role by initiating new ideas and projects that could fetch progress as well as work for a more positive image development of all old and upcoming graduates.

Comrade Nweke noted that these  and other areas of interest will assist our graduate members as well as prospective undergraduates of the institution the first choice in the labour market anywhere in the world”

Earlier, the Rector of the Polytechnic, Prof Godwin Onu, said the institution has taken status symbol among polytechnics in the country due to some initiatives introduced to re-position it.

The Rector who was represented by Dr Ifeanyi Nsionu,Director of Academic Planning, urged the newly inaugurated committee to always work for the betterment of the institution.

COOU TO GRADUATE 2,851 STUDENTS AS IT MARKS 8TH CONVOCATION.

16. COOU TO GRADUATE 2,851 STUDENTS AS IT MARKS 8TH CONVOCATION.  

By Michael Ezenwata

The Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University is graduating two thousand eight hundred and fifty one students (2,851) for its 8th convocation ceremony.

The vice chancellor of the university professor Fidelis Okafor who gave the indication at the 8th convocation press conference at the Igbariam campus of the university, gave the breakdown for the first degree graduates to include 13 1st class honours, 649 second class upper division honours, 1,348 2 second class lower division honours, 351 third class honours, and 17 pass degree.

According to professor Okafor three eminent Nigerians Chief Jim Nwobodo, Professor Kingsley Muoghalu, and Sir Chike Onyejiekwe have been selected for honourary doctorate degree in view of their contributions, to the development of the country, the state, and the university.

He said that honourary degrees awarded to beneficiaries in the history of the University have always been on merit and not on pecuniary tendencies.

Professor Okafor noted that the university is making progress and is equitably developing its three campuses at Uli, Igbariam and Awka reflecting the three senatorial zones of the state simultaneously.

The vice chancellor however refuted the insinuation that government is planning to relocate the Uli campus of the university, stressing that government has no such intention.

He announced that its Uli campus has the biggest Engineering faculty in the country, and will soon be commissioned having been completed.

Professor Okafor further announced that the university is expanding as it has established its department of Estate management at its Uli campus, pharmaceutical department and Criminal Justice and Security Services department at its Igbariam campus.

He noted with pride that the university has taken the lead in adhering to the old tradition of sustaining the academic calendar pointing to the fact that the university will on June 30th 2017, close for its 2016/2017 academic session.

In Agriculture, the vice chancellor said the university is developing a faculty of Agriculture complex at the Igbariam campus of the university which will be a centre of excellence in Nigeria.

In academic development, professor Okafor said his administration has consistently performed convocation ceremonies every year.

PARENTS TO MONITOR THEIR CHILDREN AS EASTER APPROACHES.

17. PARENTS TO MONITOR THEIR CHILDREN AS EASTER APPROACHES.

By Michael Ezenwata

The principal of Igwebuike Grammar school Awka Dr. Raphael Anaekeokwu has called on parents to monitor the activities of their children during the Easter celebration break.

Dr. Anaekeokwu who spoke to the press in Awka on the Easter period, urged them to disabuse their minds against the use of the GSM mobile phones to stem the tide of internet fraud in the society.

He said the college has come out with a uniform traditional attire nicknamed “Electric bulb” for students to be sewn as a Danshiki outfit with “Okpu Nwagwali” or “Abiriba cap” to match as part of efforts to promote the Igbo culture on Wednesdays as directed by the state government.

On her part, the principal of comprehensive secondary school Nawfia, Mr. Christian Ezeamaku urged students to be conscious of their studies during the Easter break especially the SS3 and JSS 3 students who will face the challenges of their examinations.

Mr. Ezeamaku expects students to live a life of holiness during the period of Easter.

Contributing, the principal of Eastern Academy girls secondary school Onitsha, Dr. Stella Umunna urged the students to keep away from bad company during the Easter holidays.

Dr. Umunna believes that the Easter period will usher in positive great things for Anambra state and Nigeria in general.

PROF. OKAFOR EULOGIZES OBIANO, ASKS FOR MORE STAFF AND SECURITY

18. PROF. OKAFOR EULOGIZES OBIANO, ASKS FOR MORE STAFF AND SECURITY

BY UZO UGWUNZE

The Vice Chancellor of the Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University (COOU), Prof. Fidelis U. Okafor recently hailed Governor Obiano of Anambra State for the developmental projects and improved funding of the university. He further urged the State Governor to intervene by employing more staff and providing more security for the three campuses that make up the Ivory Tower.

In his address, Prof. Okafor made the commendation at Igbariam Campus during the 8th Convocation ceremony of the University, saying that the University was grateful to the amiable governor and the presence of Anambra state Government which has alleviated the sufferings of both staff and undergraduates of the University community.

“His Excellency, Chief Willie Obiano continues to break new grounds in the university. He has tackled and solved the problem of water supply in the university. Through his intervention, the electricity supply which was long forgotten has now been restored and power supply to the new site will be sourced through the ongoing electricity project of the State Government in the campus”, Okafor said.

“It is a great pleasure to announce that His Excellency approved the construction of University Medical Centre for Igbariam Campus, a prototype of the one built at Uli campus. He has also decided to complete the abandoned faculty of Management Sciences Building where staff and students gather to pray for divine intervention. We thank you for the increase in subvention in 2016, we now pay staff salaries and allowances with less difficulty. Thanks to the State Government that constructed the road from Uli-centre of the Onitsha-Owerri express road to the Uli Campus and to be extended further beyond the University. For all these and more we are grateful to our amiable Governor”. Okafor said

However, Prof. Okafor asked the Governor to approve employment of staff due to urgent need to meet NUC staff requirements.

“On this occasion of your presence in the University, we wish to ask for some favors. This university has a pressing need of staff, both academic and non-teaching. The National University Commission (NUC) has provided the benchmark for staffing in the university to meet NUC staff-student ratio”, pleaded Okafor.

“Security is needed for the protection of the students who reside inside the campus and its environs due to farness of the campus from the neighbouring communities. We request for the completion of the perimeter fence around the university to ward off the menace of herdsmen and their cattle as well as other possible intruders in this campus.said Okafor.

NOCEN BOSS CALLS FOR SOBER REFLECTION DURING THE EASTER PERIOD

19. NOCEN BOSS CALLS FOR SOBER REFLECTION DURING THE EASTER PERIOD

By Michael Ezenwata   

The provost Nwafor Orizu College of Education Nsugbe, Dr. Mrs. Ego Uzoezie has urged Christians to utilize the period of Easter to be selfless in their disposition.
Dr. Uzoezie who spoke to the press in Awka on the essence of Easter, noted that the period calls for sober reflection.
According to the provost who is also a papal lady in the Catholic Church, Christians should be sacrificial in their relationship with their neighbors and to the society they find themselves in.
On her part, the director of sandwich unit of the Nnamdi Azikiwe university Awka campus, Professor Uche Obidiegwu called for the prudent management of resources in the present economic recession in Nigeria.
According to professor Obidiegwu,  Easter celebration in the period of the economic recession calls for being modest in ones, spending and planning to succeed.
She used the occasion to speak on the forth coming national conference of the faculty of Education of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University aimed at finding solutions to encroachments against education in the period of economic recession.
Obiano Urges COOU graduands to be Proactive.

20. Obiano Urges COOU graduands to be Proactive.

NWEGBO IFEANYI. C

The Anambra State Governor Chief Willie Obiano has urged the graduands of Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University (COOU) to engage in positive venture that will promote the good image of the institution.

Governor Obiano stated this at the 8th convocation ceremony of Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, held at her Igbariam campus. Chief Obiano said that his administration will give the best and quality education as his vision in educational sector of the state.

He enumerated that his administration has made so much investment in educational development of the state, which include renovation of over 1400 classroom blocks, upgrading of over 60 science laboratories, paying teachers salaries as and when due, and government support to mission schools among others. Governor Obiano then urged the staff and management of the institution to intensify actions at maintaining high educational standard.

Earlier, the vice chancellor of the university Prof. Fidelis Okafor commended the state government for her interventions in the provision of their needs, stating that the university is expanding her frontiers in all sectors towards becoming the major centre for teaching and learning of arts and sciences.

The chairman of the university governing council Architect IkebuezeOchendo said that the council will soon unveil the strategic plan that will position the university towards enterprise and entrepreneurial studies to ensure that it exploits the opportunities available in private sector collaboration for its transformation.