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8th NASS Leaves An educational legacy in Nsugbe

By Onye Imman



NASS audit report

When the Senate penultimate Thursday, May 30, 2019 passed the law establishing the Federal University of Education, Nsugbe, Anambra State it inevitably left an educational legacy that the 8th Senate will be well remembered for.

The Senate’s concurrence on the bill followed the earlier passage of the same bill by the House of Representatives on July 12, 2018.

The import of the bill is to upgrade the Anambra State Government owned Nwafor Orizu College of Education, Nsugbe into a federal university.

The proposed Federal University of Education Nsugbe is fashioned to offer special Education Degree Programmes with the intention of producing highly competent, prepared special education professionals who are really to set the pace for advancement in education pursuit.

Remarkably, the bill was sponsored by a medical doctor but who more than ten years ago, set a legacy for himself in projecting the country’s education system as national president of the National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS.

That Dr. Tony Nwoye, APC, Anambra East/West Federal Constituency may have been known nationally as a student cum youth activist more than as a medical doctor or as a businessman is a reality of the fact of how he has exercised his energies towards promoting education and the interests of the youths.

That passion was what undoubtedly underscored his sponsorship of the bill which when it came for consideration in the House of Representatives won universal acclaim.

Not only because of his cross appeal across the political divide, but also because of the significant merits the sponsor of the bill was able to project to his fellow lawmakers both in the House and in the Senate.

The motion seconding the bill was moved by Hon. Nicholas Ossai (PDP Delta State) a former Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly. Seconding the motion, he said the school would provide the much needed manpower in the education sector.

“We need the school to be upgraded to a university, they have the necessary manpower. I support the bill”, he simply said.

The immediate import of the bill is that it would by law establish the first university of education in the Southeast.

An attempt in that direction had been made by the Goodluck Jonathan administration which approved the upgrade of the Alvan Ikoku College of Education to a university of education. However, that move has largely remained a pipe dream following the failure to give a legal effect to the pronouncement in the form of an enabling law.

 Putting forward the need for the new legislation, Nwoye in his proposal had said:

Sponsor of the bill

“With increased quest to acquire education by Ndi Igbo and the rising demand for specially trained teachers in the country, this University when fully upgraded will go a long way in addressing a lot of issues including serving as an accessible centre to acquire both basic and advance degrees in Education in the  South East and also aides the obtaining of teaching pre requisites for career lecturers/teachers.”

Undoubtedly, in pushing for the establishment of the university in his native state, Anambra, Dr. Nwoye had taken into consideration potential benefits for the state.

Among the potential benefits to the state which other stakeholders from the state would be mindful of supporting will be the fact that the upgrade will make Anambra to become the next Educational centre for the training of professional teachers  and acquisition of  Education Certification in the Southeast.

The establishment of the university will also bring about job creation for the immediate and neighbouring communities and boost the economy of the region.

The state government will also be relieved of the burden of sustaining the Nwafor Orizu College of Education as the proposed law would put the upgraded institution under the tutelage of the Federal Government.

An important argument that was presented in support of the bill is the reality in the country that colleges of education have lately become dumping grounds for persons who failed to meet with the qualification needed to enter the universities or other supposedly dignified professional callings.

The import is that the project of producing teachers and other professionals needed to groom students for the future has been left in the hands of persons who are sometimes seen as rejected by the universities.

By upgrading the College of Education, Nsugbe to a university, that breach would be adequately addressed as products of the proposed university would be put in the same dignified rank among their peers in other strata.

Similarly, the school just like many other colleges of education in the country had been subjected to logistical and other challenges arising from shortage of funds.

Whereas universities still complain of not getting a fair share of the funds from the education sector, the colleges of education like the one in Nsugbe bear the brunt of often dislocated budgeting.

It is in that light that Dr. Nwoye’s proposal to establish the Federal University of Education Nsugbe won approval in the two chambers of the National Assembly.

With the legislature having acquitted itself as an advocate for enhanced capacity and quality in the educational sector, the ball has as it should be passed on to the executive with eyes on President Muhammadu Buhari.

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