By Christian Aburime
As Anambra State proudly continues to take the spotlight of educational excellence lately with its sons and daughters winning national and international laurels after laurels, success indeed is bound to attract many friends.
No doubt, the present educational improvements are the direct result and unmitigated facts of the many strategic interventions made by Governor Chukwuma Charles Soludo as part of his five-pillar Agenda for transforming Anambra State into a liveable and prosperous homeland.
For the avoidance of vagueness, let us put things in context. Before the Soludo government came to office, 22% of the 2,781 primary and secondary schools in Anambra State were classified as substandard in a 2020 UNESCO report.
Also, a 2020 report by the National Journal of Educational Leadership (NJOEL) highlighted a 22.24% dropout rate in secondary schools in Anambra State as a result of factors such as teenage pregnancy, poverty and insecurity among others.
Then, most pitiful was the fact that most of the schools in the state lacked teachers such that PTAs (Parents Teachers’ Association) had to be the ones hiring teachers for them. Yet, the number of teachers was never enough to guarantee quality education that would produce the kind of results we are witnessing from our students today.
Realizing the unacceptable hitherto situation, the Soludo government came to office with certain critical interventions to salvage the educational sector. In an audacious instance, Governor Soludo undertook an unprecedented recruitment of 5,000 teachers at a go via an open-source application portal for transparency to end the era of schools without teachers. No where in the history of Nigeria has such a feat be done by a government that was barely less than 9 months in office. But Soludo broke the jinx
The hired teachers were deployed across the 21 LGAs of the state.
As part of his systemic reforms, the governor also established an Educational Advisory Council as well as embarked on a strategic revision of schools’ curricula on the primary and tertiary levels to guarantee best standard practices within the system.
What is more, special scholarships intervention was also introduced by the Soludo administration for over 107 indigent students of the hard-to-reach, disadvantaged and riverside communities in the state.
Today, the outcomes of all these interventions and other ongoing reforms are what we are currently seeing in our students excelling in diverse fields nationally and globally.
It is therefore an incontrovertible fact to say that it is under the leadership of the incumbent governor that the state’s educational landscape has undergone a radical transformation.
The pivotal move to hire five thousand new teachers was a masterstroke that injected fresh energy into the education sector. This act alone showed a real commitment to invest in the future of the state’s youth, as well as a willingness to allocate resources where they matter the most.
The proof of the pudding is in the eating, and the current accolades and laurels that the state’s students are garnering on national and international stages are undeniable indicators of the positive impact of Governor Soludo’s policies. They are the product of a well-thought-out strategy, meticulous planning, proactive interventions and relentless pursuit of excellence that prioritized education as a cornerstone of development by the current administration.
Though, while it is acknowledged that progress is a continuum and each administration plays a role in building upon the foundation laid by its predecessors, there is a need for intellectual honesty and a genuine acknowledgment of where credit is due. As past contributions are not to be dismissed, it is crucial to recognize that the current educational excellence in Anambra State is largely due to the culmination of sustained vision, bold actions and tireless dedication of Governor Soludo.
Yet, the superlative accolades that our students are garnering across the nation and the world are only a beginning of greater feats to come because the Soludo government is not resting on its oars until Anambra State soars to new heights. Indeed, Solution is here!