The Anambra State Governor, Professor Chukwuma Soludo, emphasised that Nigeria, as a nation, must heavily invest in public primary and secondary schools to provide children of the “poorest of the poor” with access to quality basic education.
This initiative aims to break the cycle of poverty across the states of the Federation.
Soludo conveyed this message on Tuesday during a courtesy visit to the Minister of Education, Prof. Tahir Mammam, SAN, at his office in Abuja.
He disclosed that Anambra has four strata of educational provision, categorised as private schools, mission public schools, mission private schools, and public-public schools.
He further explained that the Mission Public Schools were initially taken over by the government from the missionaries and later returned to the churches.
On the other hand, the mission private schools were established by churches afterwards.
We have the schools known as the public-public, owned and run by the Anambra state government. Recent analysis indicated that the weakest link in the whole chain happens to be the public schools.
“The public schools are where you have the children of the poorest of the poor, and these are schools that are poorly resourced, with insufficient teachers and lacking facilities.
We have just compiled a list of 21 schools in each local government, totalling about 420 of them.
We have decided to intentionally uplift the public education system in the state,” he stated.
Governor Soludo expressed his concern that all the laurels and outstanding performances recorded by students and candidates from Anambra State usually come from private and missionary schools.
He attributed this to the neglect of public education in the state over time.
The former Central Bank Governor emphasised that if Nigeria could get education right, everything else would function effectively in the country.
He mentioned that Anambra is revolutionising the public school system to make them smart, allowing children from disadvantaged backgrounds to have access to quality education and break the cycle of poverty.
The governor also highlighted that the state has cleared its counterpart funding for the past three years to boost education in the state.
He urged states across the country to emulate Anambra’s education model, which has been yielding positive results.
The Minister of Education, Prof. Mamman, who received the Governor alongside the Minister of State for Education, Dr Yusuf Sununu, commended Soludo for transforming the education sector in the state.
He reiterated that the government would continue to implement policies to ensure no state or child is left behind.
“We will be looking up to you to serve as a model of what we want states to be in terms of meeting their obligations.
If other states adopted the practices you are implementing, we wouldn’t be at this level,” he said.