By Jude Atupulazi
The students of Alor Science and Technical College have told the Vice-Presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, Mr. Peter Obi, that he will forever be in the hearts of the students and people of Anambra State; even as they cited what he did in Anambra State when he was the governor, especially the revolution he led in the education sector, among the reasons.
The students spoke through their representatives, Master Alaoma Somtochukwu, last Monday during the pastoral visit of Archbishop Valerian Okeke to the school.
In his sermon, Archbishop Okeke thanked the Management Team of the school for upholding standards that Catholic schools were known for. He particularly advised students to live a life of discipline without prompting. He also advised them not just to dream dreams, but to be pragmatic about it by trying at all times to reduce their dreams to achievable goals through what he called five principles of planning, projection, practice, perseverance and prayers.
Speaking on behalf of the Management, Mr. Samuel Otubah said the school was grateful to Dr. Chris Ngige, who, according to them, converted the school into a Science and Technical School in 2004.
He however said the fortunes of educational system in the state changed with Mr. Peter Obi. His words: ‘When the then governor Peter Obi recovered his mandate, he was ready to reposition our educational sector with his ANIDS mantra. As a philosopher, he started asking questions whether we were cursed or the cause.
It didn’t take long for us to realize that we have abused our society which he did not allow to take its toll on us.’
On the return of schools to the Church, he said it was the most landmark decision of Obi in 2010.
‘Okwute Ndigbo made a landmark decision the previous governments lacked the will to take. He waded into the problems facing schools in the area of provision, renovation, and reconstruction of mindset and motivation of teachers,’ he said.
Besides the 35 million Naira Mr. Peter Obi gave to them for infrastructural improvement, Samuel said it was through him that the school constructed a gigantic building housing 8 classrooms, the sickbay, the school canteen and library, and recalled that through Obi, their chapel was renovated, and they got science and sporting equipment, 32 laptops, two 18-seater buses that they still used, as well as generator, among others.
Mr. Peter Obi, who was represented by his Media Adviser, Mr. Valentine Obienyem, said Obi had remained grateful to the Church for assisting in sustaining those things which Government had done badly, such as education and health care delivery.
Pointing out that as the reason Obi collaborated with the Church, he called for continued collaboration since the people of the state were the ultimate beneficiaries.
The Manager of the school, Rev. Fr. Dr. Francis Unegbu, thanked all present, especially the Archbishop, who is also the proprietor of the school. He assured that the school would remain faithful to its commitment to delivering sound education backed with ennobling morals.
The high point of the pastoral visit was the administration of the Sacrament of Confirmation on some students and the commissioning of some completed projects – computer lab, tarred roads, statue of St. John donated by the old boys – by the Archbishop.
Over 30 priests and other dignitaries attended the event.