FG set to reposition Unity Colleges- Nwajiuba

By Rosemary Ogbonnaya

Minister of state for Education, Hon. Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba has said the Federal Government is set to reposition the 110 unity colleges across the country for optimum performance in all ramifications.

The minister stated this on Tuesday, while declaring open the 2021 Annual General Meeting of Principals of Unity Colleges in the country, which opened in Gombe, the Gombe State Capital.

In his opening speech titled “Repositioning Federal Unity Colleges” Hon. Nwajiuba said, the Federal Government is determined to bring back quality and standard to Federal Unity Colleges across the country.

To achieve this, the Minister said President Muhamadu Buhari has set the ball rolling through a bumper welfare package for teachers, which he approved last year.

The package, the Minister said includes, the extension of length of service, new salary structure for teachers, automatic employment to deserving graduates, a new housing programme and pension scheme among others.

The Federal Government, the Minister said is committed to restore the past glory of the Federal Unity Colleges through adequate funding, strict supervision and re-evaluation of the entire system.

Sounding a note of caution, the Minister said, the Ministry will not spare any officer found wanting under the new dispensation, as such officers will be shown the way out of service, adding that change has come into the education sector for good.

He stressed the need for training and retraining to prepare teachers for the unfolding dispensation, which is fast ushering in new developments that will contribute to the evolution of a strong democratic, prosperous, invisible and sovereign Nation.

Nwajiuba is optimistic that resolutions reached at the 2021 AGM will help tremendously in addressing some of the challenges bedeviling the education sector, not only in Unity Colleges but in Nigeria as a whole.

Speaking at the AGM, Gombe State Deputy Governor, Dr. Manasseh Daniel Jato told the gathering that the Governor Muhammad Inuwa Yahaya led administration at it’s inception, declared a state of emergency in the state’s education sector, which led to; the establishment of the Leadership Training Center in the State; Massive renovation of Infrastructure in schools; Improvement of health infrastructure in schools especially against the backdrop of Covid-19; Modernization of the Sangaya (Almajiri) Educational System and
Payment of all relevant counterpart funding to ensure that the state takes full advantage of all programmes of donor partners.

In his welcome address, permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, Arc. Sonny S. T Echono noted that the AGM is an avenue where issues of crucial importance to the growth and development of quality Education in Federal Unity Colleges are discussed, adding that such discussion will equally improve the managerial Capacity of Principals.

Speaking on the theme of the AGM, “The Role of Education in Evaluating Social Vices as Guiding Tool in the era of Insecurity”, the Permanent Secretary said, the theme is apt especially now that the country is going through security challenges, and youth
restiveness, drug addiction and examination malpractices.
The Permanent Secretary said, with quality education, deviant behaviours caused by complex interactions can be effectively tackled.

Architect Sonny S. T. Echono is confident that the collective experiences of Principals shared at the Annual General Meeting will reposition the Nation’s Unity Colleges and by necessary implication, the entire education sector.