Education is not only a key to societal development and human minds transformation. It also creates employment for those who are qualified for it, thereby reducing the high rate of unemployment and insecurity which bedevil the society.
Hence, one of the greatest quotes of the former American leader, John F. Kennedy, is “let us think of education as the means of developing our greatest abilities because in each of us there is a private hope and dream which fulfilled can be translated into benefit for everyone and greater strength for our nation.”
Just as Mary Parker Follett’s Creative Experience (1924) highlights that “the essential aim of the most democratic movements we have is to train ourselves, to learn how to use the work of experts, to find our wills, to educate our wills, to integrate our wills….It is of equal importance with the discovery of facts to know what to do with them..In politics, we do not keep these different kinds of information apart. If higher education is to become a civic learning organization, it will mean giving conscious attention to the public and productive qualities of the creation and diffusion of knowledge. Putting the “public” back into public universities means multiplying public spaces, where people with diverse views can wrestle with controversial issues. It means keeping knowledge creation public, open and accessible – resisting trends towards the privatization and patenting of knowledge”.
Having portrayed these allusions by those great scholars, this writeup centres on the recent establishment of the University of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, Umuagwo, Imo State, which was founded to complement other higher institutions owned by the state.
Upon the announcement of the former state Polytechnic as a University, the citizens were joyful and happy and hoped that government standardizes the school to imbue students and graduates with productive skills and efficiency.
Indeed, the Governor of Imo State, Senator Hope Uzodimma, after his assumption of office sometime last year, told Imo people that his administration would make education in the state a two-win thing where both parents and government will enjoy good and qualitative education at an affordable fee. That promise of goodness added to the happiness of Imo people who so much value quality education.
Uzodimma as governor has done his part by appointing Prof Patrick E. Egbule as the Vice-Chancellor, the University of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, Umuagwo. Since then the people have not heard anything positive about the institution again except closure and protest by students and staff.
Some citizens are of the opinion that Uzodimma should, as a matter of fact, direct the Vice-Chancellor of the university to act on the job application letters by over 10,000 Imo Youths waiting on his table for attention and consider those who merit the employment as soon as possible.
The people had expected that by now the school would have had the first set of students for the 2021/2022 academic session but from the look of things the institution has been stagnant and students wallowing on streets doing nothing.
As a journalist and a member of the fourth estate of the realm of government, it behoves me, to ask questions to let the people know the truth at every point in time. Your Excellency, it is high time you called those who you appointed to help you rehabilitate, reconstruct and recover Imo State from its lost glory to order. Because from what I am seeing they are not on the same flight with you. Or if they are, why is the university not functioning as expected earlier?
Yes, it is true you must not do all as a governor and that is the reason you selected those who will help you achieve your 3R agenda for the growth and advancement of the state. Let the Vice-Chancellor address the good people of Imo State, his students especially these youths who applied for a lecturing job in the institution so that the school will come to full life again.
Your Excellency, many are saying that the school is not real and that the relocation of the school to the new sites is another story of John Benson. But can this be true? a question that needed to be answered.
Our dear Governor, if activities resume in the institution it will definitely reduce greatly, the high rate of unemployment bedevilling the state and it will be another credit to your government.
Imo youths believe you can make them happy through the institution by considering those who qualified for employment therein.
9News Nigeria (Owerri)
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