Uduaghan’s Giant Strides In Education

BY FIDELIS EGUGBO
EDUCATION is very vital to the growth of the society. Deltans are known for their interest in education, but in the past, during the military era, it was tough for institutions of higher learning to absorb all those who qualified from the state to gain admission.
Democracy has seen to the opening of education space to the extent that the state plays host, at least, two private universities. However, the government, being conscious of the situation, has established more than five polytechnics and strengthened the University which had three campuses through physical structures and the accreditation of more courses within the last few years.
In 2010, Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan’s administration instituted a scholarship scheme for first class graduates.The scheme, which was designed to encourage graduates who bagged first class degrees in their chosen fields, has been sustained with each of the graduates receiving a minimum of N5 million each to enable them study in any university of their choice in any part of the world.
Recently, another set of beneficiaries of the scholarship scheme were in Government House, Asaba, where they received their awards. Governor Uduaghan said at the occasion that, “the principle behind the scholarship scheme is that the IQ of the child who makes First Class is very high and the society should not put an impediment to the child who has such IQ.
To make First Class, you have to be hard working, be disciplined and keep awayfrom cultism. Before today, we have given our scholarship to 133 graduates and today, we are giving scholarship to 100 persons, and since each student is entitled to N5 million naira, we are giving out N500 million today.”
“Please, let us build a better society by properly bringing up our children; generally, a child who is properly brought up is an asset to the society. No matter the position you have attained, personal attention to our children is very important and what we call insecurity starts from the home, parents, please we owe it as a duty to the society to take care of our children,” Governor Uduaghan said at the occasion. He added: “in these days and age, parents should allow young people to make their choice; we want to advise that parents should not force children to read particular courses, times have changed, allow the children to make their choices because, at the end of the day, they do very well because they will follow their passion.”
The Commissioner for Higher Education in the state, Mr. Charles Emetulu, was full of praises for Governor Uduaghan’s administration for his interest in encouraging Deltans to do their best in education.
In an address read on his behalf by the Permanent Secretary, Mr. Eric Osharode he said the scholarship programme had given the beneficiaries the opportunity “of getting a Masters and Ph.D Degrees in reputable universities.”
Mr. Emetulu stated, “over the years, the state government has introduced the “students’ Special Assistance Scheme (Bursary), Overseas Postgraduate Scholarship Scheme, Financial Assistance to students in the Nigerian Law Schools, Aviation Scholarship scheme; scholarship for children of deceased civil servants, physically- challenged students, and local scholarship schemes (under-graduates, Masters and Ph.D) to cushion the financial hardship our students undergo while in pursuit of their academic ambition.”
Naturally, a leaving the burden of sponsorship of such noble venture for government alone is not ideal, especially with the fact that more Deltans are bagging First Class degrees as a result of the incentives. So, Mr. Emetulu made an appeal at the occasion, saying, “I plead with public-spirited individuals, multinationals, private business owners, banks, non-governmental agencies to supplement and complement government’s efforts in the task of providing qualitative and sound education to Deltans as the responsibilities of human capital development are enormous and should not be left completely in the hands of government alone.”
Mr. Emetulu’s appeal was very important and timely as, no doubt, the number of First Class graduates can only increase and the benefactors, including those who are seeking for political offices, can sponsor, at least, two graduates annually to reduce the burden on government. This is because, the programme cannot be allowed to die on the basis of government’s inability to continue with it. Of course, the scholarship programme was another first recorded by Governor Uduaghan’s administration because there is no other state government that is engaging in such a programme.