It was Malcolm X who said that education is the passport to the future, for the future belongs to those who prepare for it today. Kofi Annan summed it nicely in his words “Knowledge is Power and information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress in every society and in every family”.
A strong and robust education system broadens access to opportunities, improves health, and boosts the resilience of communities – all while fueling economic growth in a way that can reinforce and accelerate these processes. The major reason why the west and north oppress and lay claim to governance with impunity is a direct result of their early exposure to education as brought to them by our colonial masters. This empowered them to rule over the rest.
Governor Udom Emmanuel since assumption of office as helmsman of the State has registered his unparalleled passion for the educational emancipation of his people as portrayed in the various educational interventions and landmarks he has achieved. He desires to see a State void of illiteracy where youths and children have no excuse not to assess qualitative education since a vastly educated society is a powerful society. As at last year, Governor Udom spent over 600million on the payment of fees for indigenes of Akwa Ibom in furtherance of his resolve despite the sharp drop in allocation.
Just a day ago, in demonstration of the State’s commitment to the sustainance of free and qualitative education,1569 successful candidates (first batch) out of the 5000 affected teachers have been given appointments by the State Government to teach in State owned public secondary schools with effect from Sept.2017.
Having a thorough look at Infrastructural Renaissance, Governor Udom has refurbished dilapidated structures and constructed new ones in several schools such as St. Silas Primary School, Okorette in Eastern Obolo, Primary School, Nung Udoe Itam in Ikono, AME Zion School, Neon Ebom in Uruan and Cornelia Cornelli College in Uyo and others too numerous to mention. It must also be stated to naysayers that the refusal of missions to relinquish some schools to the Government has accounted for government’s inability to intervene in certain schools.
Government has commenced plans to establish 10 state of the arts Computer resource centers in the 10 federal constituencies of the State which will serve as training centers for students preparing for computer based tests (CBT). Interventions in the tertiary institutions in the State are also ongoing as the Governor marked his second year in office by flagging off the construction of internal roads in College of Education, Afaha Nsit and Akwa Ibom State Polytechnic, Ikot Osurua and also constructed internal roads at the town campus of the University of Uyo along Ikpa road in the state capital. The Governor also flagged off the construction of the 3.2 kilometer dual carriage road at the Permanent Site of the federal institution not minding it wasn’t within his jurisdiction.
Achieving learning for all in the State is a task Governor Udom accepts will be challenging, but it is the right agenda for the next 6years and he is taking it hard on the chin not minding the economic downturn in the country. It is the knowledge and skills that children and youths acquire today—not simply their school attendance—that will drive their employability, productivity, health, and well-being in the decades to come, and that will help ensure that their communities and the State as a whole thrives.
Seeth thou a child not in school or a family complaining of inability to school their children, report both to Governor Udom Emmanuel. Education is compulsory, free and qualitative in Akwa Ibom State
David Akpan writes from Nkwot Ikot Umo in Ikono