Governor of State, Dr. Peter Mbah says his administration will establish 260 SMART schools in the 260 wards in the state. He said the SMART schools would be catogrized into crèche, nursery, primary and junior secondary schools. The schools, he said ,will accommodation both students with special needs and without special needs.
Deputy Gov. Ossai
The governor made this known in his speech at the celebration of the 63rd Independence Day Anniversary of Nigeria, held on Sunday, at the Michael Okpara Square, Enugu .
Governor Mbah, who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Ifeanyi Ossai, said that his administration’s policies on education were tailored towards achieving quality education that would be free for children in the state irrespective of their backgrounds.
He said that the SMART schools will have a functional clinic, ICT centre, e-library, science laboratories for both primary and junior secondary schools, tech laboratory, centre for robotics, studio and interactive boards with uniterrupted electricity from renewable energy.
The Governor announced that the construction of the first of the 260 SMART schools was almost completed. He disclosed be that the Government will improve on the welfare of the teachers through prompt payment of emoluments, and commitment for integrated development in the state.
“In line with our Social Charter with the people of Enugu State, we did promise them that we were going to build them a kind of education where our children could compete globally, and that every child must have access to free and quality education.
“We have also identified the need to have one million litre underground storage water in aid of a clean and safe learning environment for our children across the 260 smart schools in the state, which we want to build in the next four years.
“In line with the global concern over the environment, we are resorting to renewable energy as an alternative source of energy for these schools,” he said.
He assured of better welfare for teachers, secure and attractive environment for private sector investment, and the right skills for the youths to be meaningfully engaged.
Earlier in her opening remarks, the Commissioner for Children, Gender Affairs and Social Development, Mrs Ngozi Enih, said that the theme of the anniversary was; “Renowned Hope for Unity and Prosperity”
She assured the people of the administration’s commitment to healthcare delivery, education, children and women welfares.
“As a Commissioner of Enugu State, I assure you of the commitment of our government to the welfare and progress of our people. We will continue to invest in education, healthcare, protection of women, the vulnerable and children, infrastructure, and social services to uplift the standard of living for all residents,” Enih said.
Aka Eze Aka
In his welcome address, the Commissioner for education, Prof. Nwabueze Mbah, said that the government’s plan for the education sector would ensure the delivery of quality education exemplified by the ongoing establishment of 260 new SMART and integrated schools, 17 new Science and Vocational High Schools and 3 STEM Magnet Colleges in line with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal (SDG)on quality education and zero hunger through school feeding programmes.
“To position Enugu as one of the top three states in Nigeria, grow our GDP to $30 billion per annum, and achieve 0% poverty headcount, we need a skilled workforce. Our schools must produce skilled graduates, not certificate holders,” he said.
In his speech, the Chairman of the Enugu State Joint National Association of Persons with Disabities Comrade Onyebuchi Mbah, commended the state governor, saying ” Governor Mbah’s visionary leadership and unwavering commitment to economic development have shaped a blueprint that has propelled Enugu state in anticipation from a $4billion to $30 billion economy.
“As individuals deeply concerned iththe rights and welfare of persons with disabilities, we ,the Enugu state disability community, look up to Governor Mbah’s administration for social justice We have long aspired for a shift from the traditional charity-based approach to one that espouses right-based perspective. We believe that it is only through such an approach that we can try achieve self- Discovery and empowerment for persons with disabilities,” he said.
He appealed to the state government to implement the Enugu state Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities Prohibition Law of 2023; appointment of persons with disabilities to political positions in compliance with the 5%quota in disability law, an association bus and to host the December 3,2023,annual international day for persons living with disabilities with the Special Community in Enugu.
In a vote of thanks, the Commissioner for Information, Aka Eze Aka, commended the State Governor, Dr. Peter Mbah, for his reforms and achievements in the education, health and social sectors in the past four months.
Highlight of the event was deemed past by the pupils /students. Prizesà were presented to the best three schools in each category, primary, girls and boys secondary Schools, Mixed schools and Special schools
.Author: Maureen Ikpeama