The reversal of education policies in Rivers State by Governor Nyesom Wike has been identified as the bane of education development in the state.
The Inter-Ethnic Network for Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi (INCRA), says the steady decline in the education sub-sector in Rivers, as a result of policy reversal by Wike, is regrettable.
Miss Iselema Jack, spokesperson of INCRA, said in Port Harcourt on Saturday that it was quite unfortunate that the Wike administration was paying little attention to education.
She said that the former governor of Rivers and now Minister of Transportation, Mr Chibuike Amaech, identified the critical and pivotal role of education in national growth and development and came up with people focused policy.
“Amaechi developed a pro-poor people education policy which bridged the gap between the poor and the rich; a robust education policy which made more children from disadvantaged and indigent parents enrol into schools.
“Amaechi`s administration operated a tuition-free education policy in addition to giving pupils and students free uniform, books, sandals and laptops,” Jack said in a statement.
According to her, the model secondary schools are incomparable and remains the best in the West African sub-region, if not the entire continent of Africa.
“It’s on record that Amaechi developed a seamless policy on education to the point where some upper class in the society had to withdraw their children and put them in not only well-built but conducive for teaching and learning.
”This provided a cohesive social integration for the upper class and the lower class, as they studied under one roof.
“In other words, the schools did not only provide education but became a tool for the eclipse of class differentiation in Rivers and the state became UNESCO World Book Capital.
“Amaechi’s education policy made it possible but today, there is a total reversal of all the good policies and programmes of the policies,” Jack said.
She said that the Model Secondary schools previously managed by Indian educational consultants have been scrapped and ICT and other teaching and learning aids have been carted away in the last two years.
“Security guards were withdrawn leaving these schools open to banditry of all sorts.
”We are no longer proud of being Rivers people as education has unfortunately nosedived into an embarrassing and ridiculous level,” she said.
The group urged the Rivers Governor and his team to give education the attention it deserved as no technological, scientific, literary and art advancement could be made possible without a deliberate policy direction in education.