• Thursday, May 30, 2024
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BusinessDay

Stakeholders berate South East governors over falling standard of education

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Educationists and stakeholders who gathered in Owerri, the Imo State capital, have berated South East governors over what they called total lack of concern as standard of education continues a free fall in the region.

The condemnation and wake up call dominated the first-ever South-East Education Summit which was marred by lack of interest by the five state governors and their education managers.

This is as hitches topped by almost zero funding, logistics problems and political differences helped to dampen enthusiasm at the much-orchestrated effort to review the problems of education in the region through the summit.

The summit, which began on a shaky note at the Imo Concorde Hotel, suffered huge setbacks, thereby infuriating resource persons and participants who said they had come to tell the governors the truth about the crash of education in the region.

As speaker after speaker berated the heads of the leaders of government, the doors of the venue at the Imo Concorde Hotel were shut to the organisers for the day two of the occasion, ostensibly on account of not paying full fees for the hall and food. Sources close to the organisers, however, said the hotel staff were on strike.

In the midst of conflicting excuses, participants on the second day left the venue in anger, wondering what came over leaders of the zone.

Chairman of the summit, Chike Akunyili, medical practitioner and education philanthropist, who is husband of the former information minister, Dora Akunyili, led the way, berating the state governments for watching over the decay of the legacy bequeathed to them.

He warned that the region could collapse due to the continued neglect of education.

Describing as “mind-boggling”, Akunyili, whose wife was to chair the summit, said anyone who visited Onitsha would weep for education in the South East, saying the boys have shunned education while the women have become the new graduates.

He regretted that a scholarship scheme he initiated for male education in his home town could not get beyond two male candidates over the years. “Now, the society celebrates kidnappers, criminals, and hoodlums who have nothing to show for their livelihood and achievements”.

IGNATIUS CHUKWU,

BEN EGUZOZIE &

VICTORIA NNAKAIKE, Owerri