Whoever opens a school closes a prison: the example of Governor Umahi

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During When Governor David Nweze Umahi presented the 2021 budget proposal to the Ebonyi State Assembly on December 15, 2020, the governor had budgeted 23.913 billion naira, or about 19.47% of the total budget. of the education sector. It showed his commitment and conscious efforts to reorganize the sector.

In the words of Nelson Mandela, former South African president, “education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world”.

The Governor of Ebonyi State, Ing. (Leader) David Nweze Umahi, FNSE, FNATE, being a man of exceptional intelligence, not only internalized these words of Mandela but pursued them as his educational policy.

When he took over as Ebonyi in 2015, the state’s education sector was facing a dearth of infrastructure and inadequate teaching staff, among other challenges. However, Governor Umahi rose to the challenge by introducing new inclusive education policies to meet the divergent needs of Ebonyians. The main thrust of Governor Umahi’s education policy is focused on improving content and quality, which has been diligently pursued.

These policies were structured around the following four main pillars:

1. Teacher training;

2. Effective monitoring of schools;

3. Total overhaul of infrastructure;

4. Provide opportunities to acquire skills.

To breathe new life into his plans, Governor Umahi decided to establish two special government-owned schools: Ebonyi State Vocational College and King David Gifted Children’s Academy. The governor, as a practicing engineer, knew that education should not only be based on teaching, but also meet the needs of society and provide platforms for children of the state prone to technique to make their dreams come true. Vocational College is designed to deal with children and even adults with special skills not mastered, and who may have dropped out of school or may not be theoretically and academically good but have technical abilities.

On the other hand, the King David Academy of Gifted Children is modeled on the Federal Academy of Gifted Children in Suleja, Niger State. The Children’s Academy is created to accommodate children with extraordinary intelligence quotient, also known as child geniuses or prodigies.

According to Victor Hugo: “Whoever opens a school closes a prison.

It is noteworthy that Governor Umahi has built and attracted more educational institutions in the state since he was elected governor. These include two large federal institutions: the Federal College of Science and Technology, located in Amuzu, Ezza Sud, and the Federal College of Education in Isu, in the local government area of ​​Onicha; and King David University of Medical Sciences, Uburu, among others.

Governor Umahi leaves one of the state’s best educational legacies with the establishment of the King David University of Medical Sciences. The school, when completed, will not only be the cradle of knowledge, but will also be the hub of medical tourism beyond the country and the continent. Therefore, rather than traveling to USA, UK, India, Pakistan, etc. to study medicine and other related science programs, Nigerians and other foreigners will find safe haven in the public institution. This will create an avenue for income generation, especially now that funds from States in the Federation account have plummeted.

The education-loving governor also pledged to complete two other institutions – the Aeronautical University and the Engineering University, before his term ends in 2023.

The Aeronautical University will be located near the Ebonyi State International Airport in Onueke. The institution would provide manpower and resources to the airport and its staff. This will undoubtedly reduce the cost of travel to Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), Zaria, Kwara State International Aviation College, Ilorin or overseas to resolve aviation related issues.

The University of Engineering, which will be located in Abakaliki, the state capital, is a higher education institution entirely dedicated to the study of engineering courses. The main thing is to domesticate the field of engineering. This will further open up the state to academic grandeur and provide a source of funds for the state.

Governor Umahi’s education policy aims to emancipate the Ebonyi people from the slavery of illiteracy. It is known that the state has been classified as an “educationally disadvantaged state”.

The governor’s effort is also aimed at welcoming the older generations who have not been able to follow a formal academic apprenticeship. In doing so, Governor Umahi, through the Ministry of Education as part of the state’s mass literacy program, established centers in various local government areas of the state. The ministry has also established an adult education center, known as the Tehilli Academy at the Margaret Umahi International Market. This is to ensure that traders could run their businesses and still have the opportunity to acquire academic skills and certificates.

The efforts of Governor Umahi’s administration in the education sector have had a positive impact on the citizens. The dropout rate in the state has declined while there has been a geometric increase in the state’s literacy level. This explains why Ebonyi is the only Southeastern state selected by the World Bank for its Better Education Service Delivery for All, BESDA program. This is a testament to the Governor’s relentlessness and his relentless desire to change education statistics and the status of the state.

To mark his commitment to rewarding excellence in education, Governor Umahi introduced scholarships for top graduate students at all levels of education and other incentives. It is a question of giving an additional impetus to the fight against the educational delay of the State.

Governor Umahi’s intervention in the education sector has not gone unnoticed. It caught the attention of the National Library of Nigeria. The services of the organization were launched as is on September 11, 2020. This shows the wider acceptability of the magnificent work carried out by Governor Umahi in the sector.

By the time Governor David Nweze Umahi’s government hands over to another governor in 2023, Ebonyi State will be in a position to compete favorably in all phases of education, whether in normal studies or in skills acquisition. By 2023, the Ebonyians will be proud to sing the words of Malcolm X, who said:

“Education is the best passport to the future, because tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today”.

Indeed, Ing. David Nweze Umahi has given the Ebonyians the best passport his reward is to eternity, education.

• Francis Nwaze, Special assistant to the Governor (media and advertising)

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