Revisiting Rochas Okorocha’s free education policy By Surveyor Elias Ejiofor-Egu

Governor Rochas Okorocha’s election as the governor of Imo  State in 2011 is seen as the best thing that has happened to Imo people after the celebrated Governor Mbakwe of blessed memory.

This can be seen and felt in his care for the down-trodden and the poor, his concern day after day for how to make Imo better and the people comfortable. He has a large heart, a  benevolent  mind which if he were God, would automically elevate Imo State to a paradise.

Some of the Governor’s programmes and policies which are continuously exciting are opening of roads, markets, building new hospitals and renovating existing ones, empowering our youths, making many things happen like Chief Mbakwe did, and above all, FREE EDUCATION AT ALL LEVELS.

Yes, true and more to my topic, because this is the area I need to comment on and the make suggestions. IMSU and IMOPOLY are the only tertiary institutions owned by Imo State. Considering that education is the highest area of investment for the Imo man and the teeming population of our youths, these two  institutions are not enough to absorb our students. This means that our youths must seek for admissions in other higher institutions within and outside the state.

If they are and must remain our children, therefore, there is the need to co-opt them in the free education policy of the governor. This will reduce the attendant upsurge of admission-seeking in IMSU and IMOPOLY and the attendant misgivings and corruption that must ensue. This is true because everybody will want to go to IMSU and IMOPOLY to partake in the governor’s package of N100,000 and tendency shall be for winner takes all as only those who could buy the tickets shall have them. These will then defeat the governor’s concept and aim of the policy which to him is to help the poor.

Having said all that, I have a panacea. Let this program be extended to all our children in other higher institutions that do not belong to the state. The governor can rename it “BURSARY”. He can reach five of our students everywhere at N20,000 per session instead of a whoping N100,000 for only one student at IMSU. He can also reach five students everywhere at N10,000 per session instead of N50,000 for one student at IMOPOLY.

Let all our students in different higher institutions form an ASSOCIATION OF IMO INDEGINES for this purpose and with their lists authenticated by their VCS, RECTORS OR PROVOSTS in order to access this fund yearly.

I am sure and I believe this will excite our children more so as they can find admissions  in other higher institutions instead of clustering at IMSU and IMOPOLY and leaving our chances to other Nigerians in other higher institutions.

Some of us who joined and worked with the Federal Government after our education in the 70’s chose that option so that our brothers and sisters had to take up our chances in the state and also save chances we would have occupied. This really worked out.

So  I am appealing to our amiable governor who articulated this concept and at last made it a policy, to reconsider the modalities and make it reach everybody. This will surely put more smiles on more people’s faces.


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