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- No one should be left behind_

By Paul Nwosu

Ndi-Anambra and non-Ndi-Anambra residents in the State were naturally happy and jubilant when Governor Charles Chukwuma Soludo, CFR, announced complete Free Qualitative Education in Anambra State public Nursery, Primary and Junior Secondary Schools, and slashed the fees and dues of Senior Secondary School by more than half. The Governor himself stated: “This is not about tuition fees, but every other dues and levies running into thousands of Naira per term.”

Though chapter 2, section 18, subsection 3a and b of the Constitution prescribes that  “Government shall as when and practicable provide free, compulsory and universal education and free secondary education”, but in a bid to appear to have complied, most states abrogated tuition fees with the right hand only for their left hands to replace them with a plethora of dues and levies.

While Governor Soludo’s empathic masterstroke which resonated beyond Anambra State might mean nothing to the affluent class who can afford to squander N1,000,000 at a weekend hangout; but for the petty trader and street hawker whose entire wares are between N2,500 to N5,000 and have school children they do not want to end up with their same fate, Governor Soludo’s announcement drew tears of joy from them and avalanche of positive prayers for him. They wear the shoes and know where they pinch most. They are the ones who are in a better position to appreciate the huge burden that Nwa Mgbafor has lifted off their shoulders.

Aside from the money saved for these  indigent parents, one of the most significant aspect of this deft move by Mr Solution is that parents don't now have excuses not to allow their children have, at least, the basic education. They can no longer plead poverty for keeping their child(ren) at home or sending them to hawk on the road or work on their farms or beg for them. Soludo has availed every child living in Anambra State the rare opportunity to acquire basic education. In fact, law enforcement agents now have a valid reason to arrest parents of children roaming the streets during school hours.

Politically, we must not forget that Governor Soludo was voted into office on the platform of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), a Party that has the unique philosophical mantra of “onye aghana nwanne ya”, which means “no one should be left behind”.

So, if governments are supposed to govern according to their Parties ideologies and beliefs, then, Governor Soludo has just walked the (APGA) talk of “onye aghana nwanne ya”. He has simply demonstrated that he is truly an APGA governor and unapologetically running a progressive-oriented government, and the people are happy.

But beyond politics, Governor Soludo has demonstrated a clear determination to entrench free quality education in Anambra State contrary to the views of some cynics. Shortly after the policy was made known to the public, he held a marathon meeting with Heads of Primary Schools, Principals of  Secondary Schools and members of the State’s Education Boards. The main agenda was how to improve the standard of education in public schools.

A product of public schools himself, Soludo is committed to bringing back the good old glory for which these schools are famous. He believes that it is by fixing the quality of these public schools and making them affordable that we can equalize our children in terms of opportunities to become whatever they aspire for. The meeting rose happily with an understanding to make our public schools stronger and even better than the private schools.

Trust some people to test government’s resolve to follow its policies through. Amidst the euphoria of the announcement, four Secondary School Principals were allegedly caught contravening the brand new policy. To demonstrate his determination to ensure the policy succeeds, Governor Soludo swiftly ordered the suspension of the suspected  culprits pending when the Committee set up to investigate them has completed its work.

Ndi Anambra, particularly those that have been charged with the sacred task of raising our children should support Governor Charles Chukwuma Soludo, CFR, to ensure that we have a future population of educated people. The benefits are incalculable. 

Solution is definitely here.


Commissioner for Information

Anambra State

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