Awka- ANAMBRA State governor, Professor Chukwuma Soludo has allocated the sum of N1.524 billion to the missionary schools in the state as part of his administration’s efforts to sustain the quality of education in the state.
Details of the allocation showed that 459 Catholic schools received N918m, 275 Anglican schools got N550m, twenty schools initially owned by Anambra Pentecostal Churches received a total sum of N40,000,000, while eight schools returned to Salvation Army Schools received a total sum of N16,000,000.
Governor Soludo presented the cheques to the owners/operators of the mission schools during a meeting held at Governor’s Lodge, Amawbia.
In a remark, the governor described education sector as a major agenda of his administration and applauded the owners of the mission schools for their active participation in the health sector as well.
He expressed displeasure that the society is creating two sets of citizens; the children of the poor abandoned in public schools and the children of the rich/average who can afford missions or private schools.
He maintained that his vision is to develop human capital that would be productive at home and exportable abroad, as well as to refurbish and recreate schools that would be smart and digital inclined.
He also disclosed his plans to commence Leadership Science and Technology Schools in the state.
“What we are trying to achieve on education is also the same we want to achieve in the public health sector.
“We shall be encouraging ndi Anambra to adopt schools in their communities but even if you can’t, you can at least buy a pencil for a child. You will be amazed at what difference you can make. Club of Patrons will be formed in these public schools. We want communities to take ownership of these schools,” he said.
Governor Soludo appreciated operators of mission schools for their efforts over the years and what they will continue to do, describing them as almost being a substitute for the government.
According to him, both education and health sectors are, however, gradually slacking backwards, stressing that part of his agenda is to restore them to enviable standard.
The governor recalled that when he assumed office, most general hospitals had no doctors, assuring that all General Hospitals would be equipped with solar power so that the people could have access to qualitative healthcare and educational system, especially the poorest of the poor.
He lamented that hundreds of quack hospitals are in operation in many parts of the state and reiterated his commitment to clean up the sector and make it work.
The chairman of Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, PFN, Anambra State chapter, Bishop Moses Ezedebego, who spoke on behalf the proprietors of the mission schools, said the governor had demonstrated leadership by showing that all religious denominations could work together as a family.
The cleric stressed that the governor has wiped out the tears of uncountable millions of poor people in the state, adding that his deeds would remain indelible in the annals of the history of the state.
Those in attendance at the ceremony include the Deputy Governor, Dr Onyekachukwu Ibezim, Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Solo Chukwulobelu, Chief of Staff, Mr. Ernest Ezeajughi, Bishop Awka Diocese and Archbishop of the Niger Province, Most Rev. Alexander Ibezim, the Catholic Bishop of Awka, Most Rev. Paulinus Ezeokafor, Catholic Bishop of Nnewi, Most Reverend Jonas-Benson Okoye, among others.