The relevance of education in any given society cannot be overemphasized, thus, the reasons behind the popular aphorisms of the world’s great men like Nelson Mandela who once said that “Education is the most powerful weapon which one can use to change the world.” the Ex governor of Rivers State Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi shares this same view with him in which he believes that “education is a formidable pillar for a better tomorrow which made him to invest heavily on the educational sector in the state.
For the sake of those who have forgotten, I wish to refresh our memory on the visionary and focus-driven governor we once had in Rivers State Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, CON the Minister of transportation, Federal Republic of Nigeria. His developmental strides and landmark achievements in the Educational sector.
The Amaechi-led government, on assumption of office in 2007, declared a state of emergency on the education sector and completely took over the payment of salaries of primary and junior school teachers, thereby ensuring that education takes its rightful place in the administration.
Amaechi whose outermost desire in education sector is to see every child who is due to attend nursery and primary school in the state resumes led to the building of over 700 model primary schools that are visible in every community of Rivers state with 20 classrooms and equipped with ICT facilities, modern libraries, science laboratories, football fields, basketball and volleyball pitches and nursery playgrounds.
These model primary schools were built to the standard of the United Nations as obtainable in developed parts of the world.
He also embarked on building 24 model secondary schools across the 23 local Government councils in the state; well structured and fully equipped with modern-day educational, recreation and boarding facilities with standard housing for teachers. These secondary schools have been referred to as universities by observers.
The Government undertook free primary education with free books, sandals and uniforms, provision of library and internet facilities for primary schools known and widely Referred today as Ameachi School.
In order to reposition the prestigious Premier Rivers state University, The Government acquired 150 hectres of land to relocate the university to a bigger and better permanent site, which is expected to have facilities that will accommodate no fewer than 50,000 students.
Rivers State has once been adjudged as the best performing state in the education sector within Nigeria not just South south zone. With a recognition and award of N500 million naira from the Federal Ministry of Education for her performance and the first city in Nigeria to become the UNESCO World Book Capital.
Amaechi has been particularly determined in the re-training of its teachers and the employment of over 13,000 extra teachers to teach in the new model schools today known as Amaechi teachers with scholarships offered to over 2,000 Nigerian students in both home and foreign instituitions.
It is expedient we draw the attention of the Governor of Rivers State, Chief Bar. E.N. Wike, to emulate the footsteps of his predecessor whose record in the education sector is unparallel rather than toe the path of retrogression, for example the recalling of those who were sent overseas for scholarship and leaving so many frustrated, non payment of busaries, non-training of teachers as well as other anti- educational policies. The recurrent excuses given that there is no fund for such must be discouraged as the public has witnessed how Rivers money has been donated with reckless abandon without first meeting the needs that arise here all in the name of politics.
The students of Rivers State College of Health Science and Management Technology popularly known as (School of Health) here in the state is crying everyday over lack of lecture rooms resulting to students learning under the trees and lecturers canceling lectures.
A stitch in time, saves nine.