By Jude Atupulazi
The candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC in the November 6, 2021 Anambra governorship race, Senator Andy Uba, has decried the growing tide of out of school children in the state and promised to remedy the situation.
Reacting to the report of a research which indicated that “many rural communities in the state suffered educational neglect, leading to no fewer than 90,000 children being out of school, Senator Uba promised to redress the trend.
‘Quality education for our children is a major priority for me. We will renovate and reconstruct hundreds of our dilapidated schools and transform them into model schools and centres of excellence,’ the APC gubernatorial hopeful said.
A statement by the Andy Uba Campaign Council (AUCO), quoted a non-governmental organization, Evidence and Collaboration for Inclusive Development, ECID, as having noted that though there was free education policy in Anambra State, many parents claimed they were paying fees for their wards, especially at the secondary school level.
‘It is quite worrisome because based on official statistics Anambra is one of the educationally advantaged states in the country. It is more worrying when you go into the field and see the wide gap existing between the rural and urban locations,’ a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Development Studies, University of Nigeria, Enugu campus, Dr. Ben Nwosu, was quoted to have said.
Dr. Nwosu worked with ECID, funded by the United Kingdom Government and implemented by Christian Aid, a Nigerian based group.
In the statement signed by Hon. Victor Afam Ogene, on behalf of AUCO, Senator Uba praised the efforts of the various missions in sustaining the high standards of education in the state, promising that, in addition to offering them increased support, as governor, he would ensure that he brought public schools at par with the mission schools.
Although the state’s Commissioner for Economic Planning, Budget and Development Partners, Mr. Mark Okoye, assured that the findings from the ECID programme would assist the state executive council in policy formulation and data planning, the Andy Uba Campaign Organization, AUCO, queried the sincerity of a government, which, it said, left a problem to fester for seven years – with a questionable promise to redress same with only few months of its lifespan left, the statement added.