The Ikwerre Youth Movement (IYM) Emolga Chapter under the distinguished leadership of Sir (Hon)Lucky Worluh recounts the giant strides recorded in the administration of Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi as then Governor of Rivers State, describing it as positive revolution with no rivalry in Nigeria.
Recall that on assumption of office the Amaechi-led government declared a state of emergency on education, completely took over the payment of salaries of primary school and junior secondary school teachers, which was the function of local governments, in ensuring that education takes centre stage in the state as at then.
In other to further strengthen and ensure quality education in the state, ex-governor Amaechi signed into law five bills brought for his assent by the State House of Assembly, which included; The Rivers State Universal Basic Education Amendment Bill 2012 and The Rivers State Senior Secondary Schools’ Board Bill 2012 amongst others.
Under his administration, the government targeted building 700 model primary schools with 500 completed – each with 20 classrooms equipped with ICT facility, modern library, science laboratory, football field, basketball pitch, volleyball pitch and nursery playground. These model primary schools were built to the standard of the United Nations as obtainable in developed parts of the world.
Not left out was the construction of 20 new classroom blocks’ model primary school with state of art facilities to commemorate the status of Port Harcourt as World Book Capital, a feat achieved under him due to his tangible revolution in the education sector.
Amaechi, not satisfied with the available manpower (teachers) in the sector, his administration employed over 13,200 teachers at a go, an employment arecord yet to be broken.
There was also the establishment of the early childhood development in Education centres (popularly called ESI Schools) through the Empowerment Support Initiative, an NGO initiated by his amiable wife, where the children of the poor gained quality education for free.
Human resources capital development is the best development any nation can have and export to maintain development equilibrium, and Amaechi being a human development expert and a pathfinder in education embarked on foreign scholarship for the less privileged as well as deserving Rivers indigenes.
During his administration, UBE was awarded the best UBE in Nigeria with a cash award of 500m naria attached to it, the highest award any state in the south south has attained.
Free education was the order of his administration but today pupils are paying different kind of money in the school, including sanitation and WAEC fee etc.
Salaries of teachers were regularly paid before the end of every month.
He organised different educational summits where intellectuals gathered to develop educational development agenda for Rivers.
His administration was the first to have a quality assurance agency in Nigeria which is very important to evaluate performance in our educational deliverables.
These and more feats too numerous to mention were done to reposition the State’s education sector under him.
AMAECHI remains a brand that will stand the test of time in the history of Rivers State as it concerns education.
It is regrettable that most of these infrastructures are in sorry states under the current administration of Wike.
Free education is currently dead in Rivers State as payment of school fees have now returned to primary and secondary school. No more free school uniform, free books distribution as students are made to pay for all.
Private schools are harassed everyday by different agents of the current government claiming to be tax force.
Most unfortunate is the withdrawal of Rivers indigenes sent for study overseas.
Till date, no one knows the budget for education in Rivers State.
Rivers people can now see the difference as they continually yearn for change.
IYM… Ohia hia
©IYM EMOLGA MEDIA TEAM