In fulfillment of Governor Rochas Okorocha’s promise to extend the Free education programme the state – owned tertiary institutions, the governor today launched the scheme as well as distribute the scholarship forms to students of Imo State origin at the Heroes square, New Owerri.
Gov. Okorocha who dislosed that the free education programme would commence in September stated that government has accepted to settle salaries and emoluments of staff and owed by the schools before the commencement of the programme.
He directed the students to pick their forms from their traditional rulers, the office of the Secretary to the State Government (SSG) the Ministry of Education and in their respective schools.
Governor Okorocha used the opportunity to advise students to shun prostitution, cultism and examination malpractice by taking their studies seriously especially now that government has taken off the burden of paying school fees from them.
On non indigenes in the state tertiary institutions, Imo Governor stated that only the very indigent among them would enjoy the Free education programme and however directed that such students should visit the office of the SSG for documentation.
He equally announced that the free education programme would be extended to indigenes of the state in other tertiary institutions in the second phase of the programme while the state government would sponsor 21 students for degree courses on Medicine, Agricultural sciences and Engineering in the Republic of Kosovo.
The Governor enjoined school heads and teachers to embrace the policy of partial privatization of schools being undertaken by the state government adding that such policy is to build a better and stronger future for Imo children.
Speaker Imo State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Ben Uwajumogu, remarked that the House is in consonance with Governor Okorocha in achieving greatness for Imo people hence it has passed all bills to enable free education take off and take a firm root in Imo State.
Honorable Uwajumogu further said that free education which is not obtainable in other countries of the world is possible in Imo because of the huge sacrifice by Governor Okorocha led government.
The Chairman of the State Council of Traditional Rulers, Eze Samuel Agunwa Ohiri recalled that the governor is fulfilling his promise of giving free education to Imo children adding that the free education in the tertiary level is open to children who are Imo by paternal lineage.
In their separate speeches, the Vice Chancellor of Imo State
University, Professor Bertrand Nwoke and the Rector of Imo State Polytechnic, Rev. Fr. Wence Madu, respectively, said that the event marked a solution to the problem of funding in their schools.
They stated that they have agreed to all the agreements between the Imo State Government and their schools as contained in the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) pledging that they will commence the “sustainability programme” of the state government aimed at making the schools self-sustaining.