•Okocha, Ikanya hail historic project
The Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi administration in Rivers State has taken yet another giant step in educational development by constructing a new 20-classroom Blocks Model Primary School to commemorate the status of the State Capital as the current World Book Capital City. Known as World Capital City Model Primary School, the edifice is located in Port Harcourt Township and has already been furnished preparatory to the commencement of classes when the 2014/2015 school year opens on September 22.
Chief Tony Okocha, the Chief of Staff to Governor Amaechi, and Chief (Dr.) Davies Ibiamu Ikanya, the Rivers State All Progressives Congress (APC) Chairman, repeatedly nodded with satisfaction during a facility tour of the new school on Friday. In addition to classroom and teachers’ offices, the model school is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities like demonstration science laboratory, library, ICT, sick bays and reception class.
After the tour, Chief Okocha said: “I am very happy that since the declaration of a State of Emergency in the education sector by Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi in 2008, the sector has witnessed total turnaround from decay to decorum. The decorum in the education sector has necessitated a surge in admissions into public schools in Rivers State, a situation that prompted the construction of 20 classroom blocks across the State. To me, this is an exhibition and promotion of excellence unequalled by any other State in Africa.”
Chief (Dr.) Ikanya described the project as historic. He declared that with the feats of Governor Amaechi in education and other sectors, APC’s task of winning the 2015 general elections has been made easier for the party.
Barr. Alice Lawrence-Nemi, the Commissioner of Education who conducted the two leaders on the facility tour, said: “The construction of 20-classroom blocks was necessitated to address the issue of out-of-school children in the State. The State Government embarked on this project to ensure that every child in the State has easy access to the free education policy of the Governor Chibuike Amaechi-led administration. The project is in line with the Education for All (EFA) and Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) vision of providing access to all children of school age by the year 2015. Samples of the 20-classroom blocks are built in all the 23 Local Government Areas of the State that include demonstration science laboratory aimed at giving children the opportunity to visualise what they are being taught in class. The introduction of the laboratory is in line with the new national curriculum which allows children from four years and above to be exposed to science education early so as to better understand science courses in the future. The demonstration class is where the teacher demonstrates for the pupils what they are learning. It makes teaching and learning easier for the teacher and the pupils.
“Also Home Economics will be demonstrated in the Lab. The essence is to teach the pupils the basic ways of cooking, personal hygiene and general home keeping.
The schools are well equipped with books and e-books. The State Government is using the medium to promote reading culture among pupils and students. Every school has reading period and pupils are made to pick a book. Each pupil will summarise the book during book reviews at the end of the period.”
It would be recalled that UNESCO, moved by the revolutionary feats of Governor Amaechi in the education sector, crowned Port Harcourt the 2014 World Book Capital City in April 2014, beating ten other great cities that include Oxford in England and Moscow in Russia. For this to be achieved against all odds and challenges by the present administration in Rivers State simply demonstrates that Governor Amaechi is a visionary and focused leader who has received accolades in this regard by world leaders.
Governor Amaechi’s feats in the area of education that assisted in making Port Harcourt the World Book Capital City are unequalled by any African leader, either in the past or present. His administration has churned out over 500 Model Primary Schools and 24 Model Secondary Schools that are termed to be better than some universities in Africa. It has also employed about 13,000 teachers, offering free education with free books as part of a strong vision to promote and sustain activities that would make promotion of literary activities and make literacy a staple in the State’s agenda.
That Amaechi administration has, in addition, promoted overall United Nations activities in the South-South geo-political zone of Nigeria through the provision of an outstanding facility that can house over 15 UN agencies in Port Harcourt. As a result, there are five UN agencies in Rivers State at the moment and more are expected to follow in due course.